Mad Men: Field Trip

Posted on April 28, 2014

Mad-Men-Season-7-Episode-3-Tom-Lorenzo-TLOHarry Hamlin, Christina Hendricks, and Robert Morse in AMC’s “Mad Men”

 

Usually, the last thing we do before publishing our Monday morning Mad Men review is scramble to find out what the title of the episode is so we can put it in the header. We can’t tell you how many times we went to hit “Publish” only to exclaim, “Oh, right! The title!” This time, for whatever reasons, we looked it up before writing this review and found to our surprise that the title wasn’t “Judgment Day,” because it sure felt like it. There wasn’t a character in the story who wasn’t judging someone else – and usually fairly harshly, from Joan’s somewhat surprising bitterness toward Don right on down to Betty having opinions about middle school teachers who don’t wear bras.

Then again, we suppose “Field Trip” works too, not just because of Bobby and Betty’s little foray into rural New York, but because Don makes an unscheduled day trip out to L.A. (which goes just as disastrously as Betty’s field trip) and later is forced to camp out in the office like a visiting child or a dignitary no one knows what to do with.

Regardless of the title, this episode was all about consequences and disappointment; two things Don has spent his entire adult life trying to avoid. We’ve been watching him live his life for almost a decade of story time now and it’s long past time for the piper to be paid. But like a lot of the audience, we squirmed a bit at the prospect, getting just a bit annoyed with all the people who wanted their pound of flesh this episode, even though they’re more than entitled to it.

Consider Peggy. Don elevated her to a copy position, sure. And he was there at the lowest point in her life, bestowing his own empowering-yet-dysfunctional mantra on her and changing her life forever: “It will shock you how much this never happened.” But after that, he routinely undervalued her and treated her badly, his abuse culminating in a humiliating moment where he literally threw money at her in front of her work colleagues. She did exactly what he taught her to do: she got out of that mess and went on to forge her own destiny out from under his shadow. Within a year, she was not only back under his shadow due to his own manipulations, but stuck between two mentors, both of whom were either ignoring her or using her in their little war against each other. In the end (and this is what makes it disappointing to us), her anger mostly came down to how Don treated Ted, the married boss she was having an affair with. In other words, Peggy had a lot of reasons to be mad at Don, but she settled on the one that casts her in the worst light. “You’re a monster for driving my married lover away from me and into the arms of his family!”

Consider Joan. Don’s always had her back and she was grateful to him for trying to talk her out of sleeping with the Jaguar guy, but she worked hard on the plan to take the agency public, which he scuttled with one temper tantrum, rendering all her work (both rewarding and humiliating) completely worthless. She bounced back by landing the Avon account and essentially promoting herself to Account Rep, but it seems to us that all her insecurities about that one act and how it made her look in the eyes of the men around her are being laid – somewhat unfairly – at Don’s feet. While it was nice for him to show up at her apartment that night to talk her out of it, his subsequent actions only made her more ashamed about what she did. He attempted to rescue the one woman he knows who hates the idea of being rescued and she kind of resents him for it now.

Ironically, both Joan and Peggy’s anger has its roots in Don’s reckless idea to merge with CGC, creating a new status quo that each woman is now trying to protect. “Well, I can’t say we miss you,” says Peggy. “This,” indicating the office and business, “is working,” says Joan, trying to get the partners to consider not to take him back. It’s interesting (and somehow just) how all Don’s sins have him essentially prostrate in front of the women in his life this season: Sally, Peggy, Joan and Megan. Sally is still a child, and only one of the four who’s related to him by blood. In comparison to the others, it was relatively easy for her to forgive him and move on. But Joan and Peggy have way too much at stake to let him back into their good graces, even though it’s clear from an outside point of view that the office – and by extension, the business – is a dysfunctional, uncreative mess. “Our creative is invisible!” yells Roger at the partner’s meeting, cleverly calling back to Ginsberg’s “Invisible Boy” Mountain Dew ad that Don (who really is the invisible boy this episode) rolled his eyes at when he heard about it from Dawn. “I don’t like the way this agency is spoken of,” says Bert. Again, it’s interesting who’s defending him and who’s not. The women are all saying, “Get him out of here.” The old guard of Roger and Bert are the ones arguing for forgiveness and redemption.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. What they’re arguing for is a lot more practical and self-serving than that. We think Roger might be feeling just a twinge of guilt over Don’s ouster, since he knows he hasn’t exactly lived a responsible, adult, or even particularly moral lifestyle in the past decade. He knows deep down that he’s the last person who should be judging Don for his transgressions. But he knows even more keenly, as does Bert, that Don’s value to the company is incalculable and they’re the only two who seem to notice how much the agency is suffering with mediocrity-seeking Lou at the head of creative and Machiavellian Jim pitting everyone against each other and subtly trying to ruin every major player from the SCDP days. We cheered Roger for finally kicking ass and taking names. And as much as we believe him when he says he misses Don, he’s also smarter than a lot of people give him credit for. He’s not just trying to get his buddy back in the office; he’s trying to save a company (and by extension, his own ass) that he can see is in danger of swallowing itself or collapsing under the weight of office politics.

It should also be noted that no one in that partner’s meeting has any real respect for creative work. Jim clearly hates creative and considers things like computers and press to have more value to the company. Joan, as savvy as she is in a lot of other areas, would have no real reason to elevate the creative side of the agency. In fact, from her perspective, from working 16 years in administrative, the creative types just make a lot of messes that she has to clean up. Bert was always way more interested in the business side of things and Roger never hid his disdain for how childish and silly he finds most creative people. Ironically, if Ted had participated (and wasn’t a depressed shell of his former self at the moment), he’d likely have been the one person among the partners to defend Don. Although Pete’s absence was the one we felt most strongly. We suspect he’d have given a rousing speech in support of Don if he’d been asked.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Megan, like Peggy and Joan, decides she’s not in a forgiving mood with Don. It seems pretty obvious that her career is going nowhere. She’s closing in on 30 with little more than a brief supporting role in a B-grade soap opera to her name. That’s pretty much the death knell sounding for most struggling actresses and she can feel it. As her agent says, her confidence is gone. And she never had a surplus of that to begin with. Again, like Peggy and Joan, she takes out her frustrations on Don in a manner that almost seems unfair, since it’s not his fault her career hasn’t taken off. And as with his first wife, it’s his poorly timed moment of honesty (after a marriage composed of lies) that brings the blade down on his marriage. Like all inveterate liars, he has no idea how and when to wield honesty appropriately. He chose the worst possible moment to tell Megan that her agent called him and that he was concerned about her mental state. Anyone with any empathy could have seen that she needed to be handled a little gently and certainly didn’t need her father figure of a husband to come into her life unexpectedly and start lecturing her. “I’ve been good,” he says impotently to her, when she screams “WHO’S YOUR NEW GIRL, DON?” All his sins coming back to haunt him. All the people he’s hurt somewhat unfairly blaming him for things he didn’t do. Yes, he cheated on her and all her complaints about the marriage are valid, but her meltdown had to do with her career frustrations, which is, ironically, the one part of their marriage where Don has been the most supportive, even though he was clearly reluctant to be so.

Even more ironically, the one woman he hasn’t hurt and who isn’t mad at him – Dawn – gets treated like crap by him throughout the episode. People don’t change. It’s the major theme of the series.

And finally, there’s Betty, who’s as important to Don as any of the other women in the story, even though they barely interact any more. Like Don, she can’t change who she is;  a petulant, judgmental child-like woman whose mood can turn on a dime when she encounters the slightest imperfection or disappointment in her life. “It was a perfect day and he ruined it,” she pouts to her long-suffering and preternaturally patient husband (mirroring the Don/Megan marriage with its father/daughter undertones). Both she and Bobby get to mouth the sentiments that Don is most likely feeling at the moment. In the end, the ones you nurture and even love will turn on you and wind up hating you. And just like Bobby did, Don really wishes it was yesterday, so he could go back and do this all over again the right way.

The question now is, how the hell does this new arrangement work? They have a creative director in L.A. building model airplanes and checking out of his life, a creative director in New York who nobody likes and who’s committed to producing the least interesting work possible, and now they have a former hot shot creative director – what? Working under the other two? Reporting to Peggy? Never gonna work. Obviously, the terms of his return were designed to be nearly impossible for him to live up to, which is why they offered them. From Jim and Joan’s perspective, they merely have to wait for him to screw up and then they get to cut him loose and absorb his shares. This also works well for Bert, who would see it in a Randian light; the alpha business male being put to the test and all that. Roger sees it for what it is: a shot at redemption, which Don will only get if he’s willing to be a little humble. Of course Roger, like the rest of the audience, is secretly hoping that Don will come in and kick the kind of ass he used to kick. How Don sees this is something of a mystery. We’d like to think he has a plan and he’s going to send Lou packing with his brilliance and office dick-swinging, but that was the least cocky, most humble version of Don Draper ever seen. If he has plans to kick ass, he’s hiding them well.

Much more to come on Wednesday, in our Mad Style review.

 

 

 

[Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/AMC]

    • http://thejoyfulfox.blogspot.com/ Laura

      Bobby’s “I wish it was yesterday” line was perfectly poignant. I think a lot of the characters wish it were yesterday.

      • ConnieBV

        It was, and because he really had a great day with his mother and she ruined it, not him. Poor kid. There isn’t enough time to egt into his character the way they got into Sally’s, but damn if the thought of him as a man doesn’t make me just shudder.

        • Fjasmine

          It was devasting. Betty was treating Bobby like an adult who slighted her.

          • ConnieBV

            I just watched Inside the Episode over lunch, and January Jones’s take on this was interesting: she said that Betty thought she was nailing it, then just saw Bobby as another male who didn’t appreciate her and took her for granted and was selfish. No less heartbreaking, but some real insight into the mind of B. Dubs.

            • testingwithfire

              Shades of Don in Bobby’s behavior, I thought, but Bobby is a child and has time to learn. So I wasn’t surprised that Betty was upset for a few minutes.. until she was still taking it out on him at DINNERTIME. Sigh. Glad to see January Jones back, though.

          • Alloy Jane

            He traded her sandwich for candy he didn’t want to a girl who didn’t have real food. It was thoughtful notion even if it was a little inconsiderate towards Betty. I’m not surprised he thinks she doesn’t eat seeing as how she seems to live off of cigarettes.

          • Elizabeth Moore

            She’s human. She can’t be a perfect mother, 24/7. No one can.

            • Alloy Jane

              True, but that implies that she spends any time being a perfect mother. Like someone else mentioned in a comment far far away, Betty comes home and takes out her dissatisfaction with her life on the woman who is actually caring for her children. That wasn’t Betty sitting at the kitchen table with Bobby doing his homework.

            • erica_leigh

              I completely disagree. Betty is far from a perfect mother. She is rather emotionally and even at times borderline physically abusive to her children. (Remember when she locked Sally in a closet after Betty caught her smoking.). She bitterly complains to the unbelievably patient Henry that her children don’t love her when she is the one incapable of truly loving and understanding others due to her own selfishness.

        • Kit Jackson 1967

          How do you picture him as an adult? I don’t see him as becoming abusive.

          • ConnieBV

            Not abusive at all. I think he will be a neurotic, depressed, emotionally stunted man doomed for unhappiness, but not abusive. At least Sally has her grit. This kid is a softshell.

            • Elizabeth Moore

              Bobby will be fine.

            • ConnieBV

              Magic 8 Ball would say that outcome is highly unlikely.

            • 2ranma75

              “It’s a matter of time” like she said about Gene.

            • SparkleNeely

              You got that right – Sally is much tougher than Bobby and smarter too. I think Bobby is slow. I think Betty thinks so too. That’s why she clashes with Sally so much – they’re both tough and smart.

            • Anne

              It’s interesting–until this episode I don’t think we’ve ever seen Betty really hurt Bobby emotionally, the way she could hurt Sally. The pure joy of that field trip until the sandwich business tells me that Bobby still sees his mother as a goddess–and actually, that suit she was wearing on the farm ranks up there with some of her greatest fashion moments. She was the most glamorous chaperone there, and he was so proud of her. It was rough to see him brought down by her childishness at the end of the episode.

            • Aurumgirl

              Bobby’s smart in his own way–perceptive; but his strength comes from being emotionally aware of others. He’s a loving and empathetic little boy and he needs caregivers who will be able to see that and allow him to be that without abusing him. Betty’s not capable of that. She only sees “soft” and tries to stomp it out of him.

          • Columbinia

            He becomes a writer/producer on the hit show “Mad Men.”

            • ConnieBV

              Who selfishly hoards his promos.

          • decormaven

            As Wolfman, and he makes a call on Betty. Henry will be spared.

      • Aroo

        It made me really sad to see Betty say that her son clearly doesn’t like her. He spent the whole trip so excited his mum was there and he was so happy to spend time with her. He made one mistake and the day was ruined in her eyes. I wanted to give Bobby 4 a hug he looked so miserable.

        • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

          I knooooow. And the thing is, we saw him protect her spot on the blanket from that other kid! I wonder if he gave away her sandwich (with that key line of “I didn’t know you were going to eat”) because he’s seen her skip so many meals.

          • ConnieBV

            And I think that is what set her off. Making him eat the candy was so mean.

            • http://www.ellenciompi.com/ NurseEllen

              After she did that, I was all but certain the next scene would be Bobby throwing up on the bus ride home. The poor kid was devastated, and Betty was a supreme bitch mother. It would have been wonderful for him to puke all over her and her wildly inappropriate clothing.

            • Mothra

              I am glad I am not the only one who hoped he would barf on her outfit (which I loved btw, but it isn’t really field trip attire, Betty!)

            • http://www.facebook.com/1033main Marci Smethurst Wolcott

              It’s exactly what my father would have done to me.

          • Aroo

            I’m most likely projecting too. I remember trying to do what I thought was the right thing as a kid and getting in trouble instead. Bobby is such a good kid too. Well, this version. I didn’t like Bobby #3.

            • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

              Heheh. It is sad, though, as he was so excited about getting to spend the day with her (“We’re having a conversation!”). Remember last season, too, when Don and Betty went to visit him at that camp, and the next morning when Bobby got them to sing with him? Clearly the highlight of his life. Now it’ll probably be another year before he gets to spend time with his mom again.

          • AnotherJulie

            I said this before on another comment, but I have never hated Betty more than in this episode. And that is saying something.

            • sojourneryouth

              Completely agree. I almost enjoy Betty’s bitchy side when she is handing a deserving adult their ass on a platter, but it is horribly disturbing to see her devastate her children. It’s like watching the Hulk smash a kitten. I know I am totally projecting, but my heart sank several times during this episode, as my mother acted very much like Betty when “hurt.” Betty can only acknowledge certain types of love and attention, completely ignoring that Bobby’s love was shown by his excitement, how happy he was to talk to her and have her attention, and wanting to have her all to himself. Nor can she see the logic of him assuming she wouldn’t be eating, as she has often skipped meals to reduce–she can’t put herself into his innocent shoes at all. Instead, all she can see is a relatively small mistake that to her means he doesn’t care about her, and she had to make sure he didn’t forget it. I know your pain, Bobby boy.

              I might be calling my therapist later, lol.

            • asympt

              The thing is, I think Betty really is hurt, not just “hurt”. That she’s narcissistic, but also a real case of borderline personality disorder (which can be comorbid). She intensely fears rejection and abandonment–her upbringing and her first marriage only reinforce that–and no one else’s feelings are as real to her as her own.

              So I have empathy for Betty, like it took me decades to have empathy for my mother. But like you, I so very much feel for poor Bobby. There’s just no way he can get it “right” and there’s no way he can understand that, and he shouldn’t have to. Betty’s husband does his best, but what Betty really needs is some therapeutic tools that really haven’t been developed yet that could help her get some insight and a little actual self control, instead of the counterproductive kind of control she instinctively bashes people with.

            • Glammie

              I don’t think she has BPD, she’s not that out of touch with reality–doesn’t do that splitting thing or suicidal ideation. But she’s clearly a narcissist. It’s always about her even when it’s not and she’s a mess inside. It’s weird the way Henry puts up with it, but I suppose her beauty and aristocratic mien have something to do with it. She’s out of his league that way, so maybe he figures she’s better than he’d get if she weren’t so screwy. Plus, he doesn’t take her that seriously. She *is* a great armpiece when she’s behaving.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Personality disorder terms are used very differently colloquially and technically. What people generally mean by narcissistic, and the criteria for a narcissistic personality disorder, are different. For me, an important point is that there wasn’t much awareness of these sorts of issues back in the day. Betty wouldn’t be able to see how her affect escalates dramatically over a triviality, and how that reaction becomes more important than the point of the entire day, i.e., connecting with the kid. She’s lost in self-pity and self-defensiveness. At least that’s how I see it.

            • Glammie

              Well, when someone describes someone as narcissistic, I think of the term being used colloquially, but Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder are specific diagnoses, so I do think of what’s in the DSM when I see the terms. Betty doesn’t fit the criteria for BPD, but in my opinion she does fit the NPD criteria. Matt Weiner has said that Betty is the one character for whom he has a diagnosis and I’d guess that it’s NPD. She’s a well-done character, she has those WTF moments that I associate with the real deal. So much so that I’d use her as a great example of the disorder. While people with BPD also have that other-people-don’t-exist-outside-me quality, there’s a self-destructive element that’s not there in Betty.

              And my deepest sympathy to anyone who has a mother with either/both disorder.

            • Nancy Aronson

              just read up on NPD on Wiki, and — at least according to them — you are 100% correct, ma’am. That “splitting” thing is v interesting.

            • Glammie

              I have the misfortune to be related to someone actually diagnosed with BPD. So I learned about it the hard way–splitting is beyond bizarre when you’re dealing with it. You can go from devil to saint within a single sentence. The classic syndrome is cutting, though not everyone with BPD does it and not everyone who does it has BPD. It’s considered a red flag though. I tend to think Sylvia Plath had BPD.

              The personality disorders as a group are considered very difficult to treat, so, no, Betty won’t change. She doesn’t really want to and–this is classic NPD–she doesn’t think anything’s wrong with her. It’s everyone else.

              Betty’s distinctive enough and on point enough that I’ve wondered if she’s modeled on someone. Livia Soprano, another great twisted character, was supposed to be modeled on Sopranos creator David Chase’s mother, which is just scary.

            • Nancy Aronson

              I both empathize and condemn! Her righteous condemnation of Francine that motivated the trip! That insecure need to win! This poor woman needs to live a few more lives before she’s ready to mother little ones.

            • Shug

              Did you notice how when they were talking on the bus, Bobby said “That’s true.” Just like how Betty says it so often. Poor kid is desperate for her approval.

            • siriuslover

              no kidding: I used to get “disowned” when I was like 7 for not doing something the right way or setting off my mother for something (I have no idea what). I remember crying and begging her to like me again and be my mommy again.

            • decormaven

              Bless your heart. Not sure what was going on there (and that’s private family business), but I hope you can see yourself for who you are, and who your mom was (is). Hugs to you.

            • siriuslover

              awww, thanks so much. My mom had issues (this was thirty years ago). I love her very very much, and she’s much better now that the kids are adults. In fact, the kids sometimes even joke about it. Humor gets you through life!

            • decormaven

              So glad! Absolutely, humor helps us ride the waves.

            • Fjasmine

              I *like* Betty and I hated her in this episode! I think it was her lowest point ever. Totally self absorbed and childish, Bobby was so excited to have her attention!

          • Fjasmine

            I’m sure that was why.

          • CanIbeFrank

            To me, it was also an act of compassion on Bobby’s part since the girl apparently didn’t have her own sandwich. As a mother, if I saw that some kid just had gum drops in her lunch of course I’d give her my sandwich (OK, HALF my sandwich!). Betty didn’t for one moment think of the hungry girl or that Bobby was being kind (and yes, also wanting the gumdrops too, of course).

            • MartyBellerMask

              But at the same time, it was a GIRL without a sandwich. If Bobby had traded to another boy, she may have reacted differently. But here is Betty, being mom of the year, and Bobby just up & shows affection for another female? Psshh. That bastard.

            • CanIbeFrank

              Ooh. Good point. Betty sees everything as a competition.

            • MartyBellerMask

              The whole reason she was there was because she had to out-mom the nanny, and Francine.
              And you just KNOW Betty’s been bad-mouthing that tramp of a teacher ever since.

            • Glammie

              Yep. It made me think of Betty with Glen and not having a sense of correct boundaries. Betty can’t deal with being casually ignored that way, but, of course, Bobby behaved like a normal kid–secure that his mom was right there.

              I’m just so glad that they have a Bobby who can hold his own in scenes. There have been years where Bobby’s had no story lines.

            • Eric Stott

              I think the other girl had a sandwich AND gumdrops- I’ll bet Bobby was the one with nothing but a dried out white bread sandwich and no candy: if Betty won’t eat it she wouldn’t pack it.

            • Frostypup

              Nah, Betty didn’t make that sandwich. The housekeeper did.

            • Eric Stott

              I thought so too, but Betty probably gave the bag a once-over and said “Bobby doesn’t need candy, it’s just lunch”

            • Dr_Karla

              Compassion would have been trading his own sandwich, not his mom’s. Yes, Betty shouldn’t have been pouting through dinner time, but it didn’t even occur to Bobby to save half his sandwich for her? The episode echoes the surprise visit by Roger to Don and Betty, which meant Betty had a salad for dinner instead of her steak, which went to Roger.

            • ConnieBV

              He thought he was trading his own sandwich. He thought he had an extra, because he never sees his mother eat anymore. And yes, he didn’t think that maybe that sandwich was hers. Kids care taking their parents at that age is the sign of an unhealthy relationship. Betty is the caregiver and the adult, not her son, but since she infantilizes herself, she wants those roles reversed for everyone around her because it makes her feel better. What Betty was doing wasn’t pouting-it was guilting. No way Bobby has any fault here.

            • 3hares

              I wouldn’t give him any fault for Betty’s OTT reaction, but I think it’s going too far to suggest that at 11 or 12 years old he can’t be responsible for eating his lunch and then deciding to give away a second sandwich without asking the person he’s with if she wants it. Him assuming that he just has an extra is understandable in a self-absorbed kid–and forgiveable–but I think he was perfectly right to feel badly when his mother looked for her lunch and found out she had none. It’s not a sign of being a caregiver to have asked first since Betty brought the sandwich along.

            • Cherielabombe

              I actually thought a lot of the field trip with Betty and Bobby was hilarious. It was obvious Betty was playing for most of the day. She was certainly not “dressed for the farm.” Very much a Republican wife out as devoted wife and mother, visiting the ‘regularl folk’… and it was all motivated by her defense of motherhood to Francine. She was having a lovely day playing Loving Suburban Mommy, drinking raw cows’ milk and smoking behind the barn until “Bobby ruined it” by swapping her sandwich, which made her angry and broke the mood.

              I think her anger at Bobby for trading away her sandwich was actually understandable. What WAS wrong, however, was carrying on with the “I was hungry, but now I’m not” comment for Henry’s benefit. Which was pretty shitty, but not unforgivable. We have seen Betty be a good mother and we know that she can be. But like most people, she’s a fallible human.

        • MK03

          As with everything in this show, it wasn’t really about the sandwich. Betty got yet another reminder of how her kids really see her, and she does not like what they see. Hell, she doesn’t like what SHE sees. And she has no idea what to do about it.

          • Anne

            Wow, it didn’t occur to me watching the episode, but Don’s “I know how I want you to see me” to Megan could just as easily have been said by Betty to her kids.

        • Blueathena623

          I think she was also looking for a reason for the day to be ruined so she wouldn’t feel the need to do more activities in the future. She obviously only went because she felt guilty after her meeting with Francine, not because she actually wanted to spend time with him.

      • zenobar

        I was devastated for poor Bobby. And watching Betty treat him like dirt made me want to squeeze my own kids.

        • Janice Bartels

          Me too! It had been a clean-your-room battle day with my 10-year-old, and I had to give him a sleepy snuggle before I could sleep last night.

      • Everett Photos

        I was so shocked she drank UNPASTEURIZED WHOLE MILK FROM A BUCKET, FRESH
        FROM A COW’S TEAT, but then she got all hygienic and had to wash her
        hands (which is when Bobby did his ill-fated gumdrop trade). If she’d remembered a lemon-scented handi-wipe in the picnic bag,
        the day would have indeed been perfect.

        • Abby Macnabby

          Milk from the cow’s teat was symbolic. There were lots of breasts and
          milk symbolism in this episode. The women comment about the farmer’s
          daughter needing a bra, kids milk from the utter, Betty drinks milk from
          the cow’s teat and at the end, her youngest child is asleep on her
          breast. Its about what children need and motherhood. Betty drinking
          milk from the cow’s teat is symbolic of her child-like behaviour and
          needs and then she throws a temper tantrum and acts younger than Bobby.

          • Janice Bartels

            I feel like Marcia Brady- I never thought about it that way! Great observation, and thank you for making me think deeper!

          • Bev Wiesner

            wow, good catch !1I wondered about the bra comment too, and i nticed when Betty is cuddling Dean that she suddenly seemed a LOT more Buxom than we all know she is , but i didnt connect the dots – Im fascinated by Betty and the extreme reaction she gets

          • Retrogirl

            also, Ginsburg did that gross squeezing boobs thing when he was talking about the Playtex account.

            • MK03

              Yeah, but Ginzo would have done that anyway.

            • lbee

              Yes!That seemed so out of character for him. More like a Stan move.

            • Nancy Aronson

              More Ginzo in the sense that he’s progressively Aspergers – like in his lack of awareness of the mores of the surrounding environment. I.e., no filter. Many times this season Ginzo says and does something inappropriate then Stan gives the look: ” Really?? “

          • lbee

            Whoa, this is a brilliant observation. Also Don trying to go back to the SC&P teat?

          • L’Anne

            Also, we see the cow’s utter and interior side boob on the teacher.

            And Francine’s comments about work reference how her kids are growing, needing her less– an indication of “cutting the strings.”

        • MK03

          I twitched a little when she drank from the bucket. My germophobe side was screaming “THAT’S RAW MILK FROM A FILTHY FARM BUCKET THAT PROBABLY HAS MANURE ON IT OMGOMGOMGOMG”

          • UsedtobeEP

            This.

          • Anne

            I think she did it because she knew it would earn her mom points with Bobby.

          • Aurumgirl

            You’ve never been on a farm, have you?

        • Kiki Reinecke

          I noticed that she didn’t get Bobby to wash HIS hands.

          • decormaven

            Ha ha! We would all be breaking out the hand gel or HandiWipes. My mom would have packed a wet washcloth in aluminum foil for the picnic.

        • MartyBellerMask

          My initial reaction was that “wash my hands” was code for vomit or have a cig. But it was merely a plot device.

          • Kathryn Sanderson

            I thought she meant she had to use the toilet.

        • http://www.spellboundbymovies.com Beth Ann

          That’s the way farmers drank and still drink milk. It was the city or industrial diaries that made pasteurization necessary. A lot of milk-borne disease came from overworked, poorly fed, and overcrowded cows. To top it off, the milk was diluted to stretch it further. Raw milk is really tasty and it’s healthier and more easily digestible, especially the cream top milk. None of that milk-colored water for me! I buy it every week. There are a lot of raw milk drinkers in California. Multiple supermarkets carry the top two brands where I live.

        • Aurumgirl

          Yes, but, don’t forget: no one was afraid of it then. Unpasteurized whole milk would have been delivered to your door if you wanted it. The only troubling part about that milk was that it would have had a nice layer of sweet cream on the top, and that would have been a no no to a disordered eater like Betty. But, hey, if she can make a show of being the centre of attention in that school group to taste it, she’ll “take one for the team” there!

          • MartyBellerMask

            (Which is why I thought she was going to throw up. She had to make room for lunch.)

            • Aurumgirl

              Nah. That was all about being Queen Mommy in front of everyone. Queen Mommies do not vomit ingested food in that context.
              Note, too, that Betty went without lunch, then claimed to have staved off hunger for dinner as well. It’s like she wants to martyr herself through denial in a way that Bobby can’t miss. Anyway, if you’re going to go without food for most of the day, a sip of whole raw milk is at least going to give you some real food to go on, albeit it in minuscule amounts.

      • Adelaidey

        I doubt it was deliberate, but that line immediately brought to mind West Side Story and a crying Baby John, muttering “I wish it was yesterday” as they hide from the cops.

      • Fjasmine

        The Bobby scene was a heartbreaker. It was like a throwback to how mean and childish Betty can be, she was at her absolute worst.

      • MissDelaware

        Oh poor bunny. So like my mother is Miss Betty. Let’s hope it goes better for those fictional children than it did for us.

      • Nancy Aronson

        My first, most obscure, reaction is that it’s cool that the writers don’t have Bobby describing his mother’s behavior. Rather than being trapped in anger, he’s squarely landed in sad disappointment. If you have to choose, the latter’s far easier to process; his years of future therapy will be a little cheaper.
        I don’t understand how people excuse Betty’s behavior here. From my perspective, her response to Bobby’s mistake is disproportionate, shaming and narcissistic — your basic crap parenting. If she’d responded lightly (a la Megan with the milkshakes) it would have been a different day. If Betty didn’t feel that she had done something wrong, whence the resistance to explaining to Henry what happened?

        • andrea

          God, my mother was JUST LIKE Betty Draper in this regard. Things could be going great, then if she felt slighted somehow, it was like the clouds immediately darkened the sky. Everything was about how it affected HER and if she felt slighted, then it was obviously intentional on the offender’s part, even if we’re talking about children.

    • Adrianna Grężak

      ‘Are you aware your self pity is distasteful’ (said by Jim.) I want to say this to people every day.

      • Anne

        “You have stiff competition, but you may be the least honest man I know.”

        • MartyBellerMask

          I TOTALLY don’t get what Jim was upset about. Harry saved their asses. Is it just me who sees it this way? (Now that Disqus is working again, I’ll check…..)

    • ConnieBV

      I have to say, the most stunning moment for me in all the seasons, was watching him say yes. My jaw dropped.

      • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

        Me too, why is he acting like he has no options?

        • ConnieBV

          You know, I was thinking about it after and, because he is so much about appearances and how he wants to be seen, I think that after the argument with Megan, where she wouldn’t forgive him so easily, he just really needed to be good at something again. Don is, for all his faults, an excellent ad man, and I think he is just tired of sucking at everything he does and he wants to return to the company that he built with a sense that he can still be relevant and useful. Of course there is also the old Don Draperism of pretending bad shit just didn’t happen and going back to the way things were and hoping no one notices.

          • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

            It has to be that, because clearly he has other offers.

            • ConnieBV

              And really GOOD offers, although Roger’s comment about them trying to pretend it wasn’t a demotion was telling. I don’t think Don would have been head of creative there, and even if he is not at Sterling Cooper, at least he still has the attention of all the drones. They all made the pilgrimage in to see him, and you know that drove Peggy insane.

            • marlie

              Maybe at Sterling Cooper, he has a better chance of regaining the creative director position than he would have at getting it at all elsewhere.

            • ConnieBV

              I think his biggest challenge is going to be Lou, who already hates him and is impervious to his charm. His best hope is to get Lou to pull a Don, which would be awesome.

            • marlie

              That’s what I’m thinking. My guess is that somehow Don is going to drive Lou out. We can already see that Lou has a short fuse, so I can’t imagine that it’ll be that hard.

            • Aurumgirl

              I think even Roger is aware that Don will turn those terms around and come out on top. They seem impossible, and they are created to be impossible, but if Don accepts them he’s just doing what he’s really always done. Lou is already toast.

            • Nancy Aronson

              I loved what Roger said about seeing Mary Wells sitting in Don’s lap at the next Ad conference.

            • Aurumgirl

              Yes, I had a good laugh at that one, and the subtle way that registered on Cutler’s face. Also, and I wonder how this will work out: is Harry really “gone”? Cause Roger sure sounded like he wanted him gone. And it wouldn’t be his first attempt to oust him.

            • Nancy Aronson

              There are so many ways that Harry is not there. To be all fuzzy-wuzzy, esp for himself and his family. He doesn’t have the capacity (nor would I in that context) to communicate clearly, without whinging, about what he needs to develop a competitive department. While he has figured out the importance of dick-swinging, he hasn’t the gift and ends up looking like a petulant ass rather than macho (the latter, sadly, being desirable). Strangely, Harry provides me with a channel of compassion for the businessmen of that generation. How cool would it be to meet Harry’s father? & Ken’s? I bet Harry and Pete would be jealous.

            • Nancy Aronson

              My main impression of the Harry conversation is that Jim C be Freaked Out by Don D. [Oh, how I loved the look Don gave Jim during their first encounter: yes, I am here. Apparently. ]
              But I digress.
              To me, the whole Harry-computer-Media Department chaotic intro to the Don discussion seemed like Jim’s desperate attempt to sidestep the issue at hand. He was afraid of losing the military campaign he’s been waging against the old guard that he’d been on the verge of winning.
              Cutler showed his hand too soon, and Roger’s on to him. The sinister elevator encounter got Roger yearning for the days of Don. Roger doesn’t want Cutler to shunt him to the sidelines along with the other ex-power players of Sterling Cooper. Also, (as I think other posters may have written) Roger is kind of a creative genius in his own right. Maybe he really does understand the consequences of the company becoming an advertising assembly line, primary among them his becoming bored out of his mind.

            • Lilithcat

              Which he can only take advantage of if he’s fired. If he quits, the non-compete clause kicks in.

            • MartyBellerMask

              But he didn’t really want the offer. He only got it so he could show it to Roger, then get back into SC&P. I don’t know his angle, but it’s clear he’s not interested in anything else.

          • jen_vasm

            Don has a pathological need to FIX things. Not learn from the failures, but fix them all by himself and move on. His fix objective this time is Getting Back to the Office. It might be better to go somewhere else, but he’s a train on a track, this time heading towards failure. But with everyone at their worst in the office (save Roger and Dawn, for now), it’s a wide-open field on how things play out.

            • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

              That’s what I got from it, particularly since he said it when he was coming clean to Megan. “I thought I could fix it” and he still thinks he can. He’s built quite the mountain for himself.

            • Inspector_Gidget

              … and also a pathological need to break things. What a combo.

            • Nancy Aronson

              I don’t see why it’s necessarily pathological if he returns to the place where he messed up. If he took a new job one could say he pathologically flees from problems ’cause he can’t face up to them. I believe that’s known as the geographic cure. Insufficient evidence.

            • jen_vasm

              The pathology comes from just applying a cosmetic fix, but not learning and growing from the experience. Getting back to the office or not sleeping with other women are not ‘fixes’ to his problems, learning to properly relate to people is.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Did you edit your post? I remember it reading differently.

            • jen_vasm

              My first post? No.

          • mad girl

            Yes and I also think that as a parallel to Megan’s audition storyline, Don does not want a similar anecdote about him floating around. He does not want to be seen as the wannabe pleading for a second chance, or throwing a temper tantrum when things don’t go his way.

            • Elizabetta1022

              Right, what did he say to her? “It seems a little desperate.” Even though he’s the most desperate character of them all.

            • mad girl

              Exactly! Maybe that’s why it bothered him so much. And let’s not forget that Megan stalking the director and casually running into him echoes Don pursuing Roger for a job at Sterlng Cooper.

            • Elizabetta1022

              Yes, but the double standard is that if a man does it, it’s ballsy…if a woman does it, pathetic.

            • mad girl

              That certainly fits, doesn’t it?

            • SparkleNeely

              Well, true but…..I’ve never let that stop me. Anyhow, what Megan did was so far out of line and Don’s subtler than that. Everyone knows you don’t stalk directors. Everyone, except Sean Young. :) Name dropping moment – my SIL went to HS with her and said she was exactly the same way then too – obnoxious with a desperate need for attention. heh.

            • Elizabetta1022

              I’d actually read that about Sean Young. (People from her HS recalled her showing up at a dance in a see through dress or something–or maybe performing in one?)

            • L’Anne

              Right, and we don’t know the real story. Did the agent exaggerate it? Did the person he heard it from? There’s a bit of the telephone game going on. Suzie has an ingrown toenail at the start. her leg’s amputated at the end.

            • 3hares

              The story really wasn’t that OTT, was it? This isn’t a case of a double standard. Directors can’t deal with actors who have an audition and then want more when the director says they’ve seen enough. If she was a male unemployed actor it wouldn’t be good either. The fact that he heard the story at all means it’s already a problem.

            • L’Anne

              Since we only have the agent’s version, which he got from someone else (and that person got it from?), we don’t know what happened. While her agent has no reason to lie, he might exaggerate to nip any potential issues in the bud. But the story might have hit him as an exaggeration already. A competitor? Think about how easily Megan undermined her friend to get to put her up for the shoe ad. it totally is within the realm of possibilities that a rival, or someone connected to a rival, would or could exaggerate or invent something to undermine someone else.

              And yeah, we actually do hear stories about casting agents and directors changing their minds about someone’s suitability for a role because the person campaigned and pushed for a reading or another screen test. But there are also any number of ways that socially and culturally we positively describe behaviors in males and castigate the same behaviors in women.
              A boss that is particular and demanding: male– driven and focused; female– bitchy
              A person that doesn’t want to compromise: male– committed; female– unyielding, refuses to consider others’ ideas

            • 3hares

              I just think that seems like an complicated explanation for something that’s a lot simpler. Why look for conspiracies from unknown rivals targeting an unknown actress to get at an agent we barely know? While certainly both actors and actresses have had times when they’ve campaigned for a part they weren’t originally considered for or whatever, I don’t think that applies to some girl who had an audition for some minor part where she performed adequately and then kept showing up for a second chance. Didn’t she even come right back in just because she thought she could do better? It’s obvious why casting directors would see that as a bad thing. They can deal with everybody doing that.

              Of course in general we consider it a good thing when men are more aggressive while women immediately labeled as bitchy or hysterical. But it seems like there’s far better ways to show that–and in fact the show’s done so–without us having to imagine some other off-screen story about Megan than we’ve got onscreen. Plus, the agent said that he tried to talk to Megan and she hung up on him, which validates the version where Megan’s being unreasonable. If it was an exaggeration she could tell him it wasn’t true and the guy wouldn’t be worried about it.

            • Nancy Aronson

              I’m grateful for this discussion list pointing out these plentiful parallels. Megan’s Rod Sterling freakout (v. Don’s Roger Sterling freakout), Betty’s and Don’s efforts to create themselves to be seen a certain way so that they will be loved, rather than allow themselves to be loved for who they are. The stone drops in the pond. The water ripples.

            • mad girl

              Haha, Rod Serling/Roger Sterling. Perfect.

          • Glammie

            It’s also his agency–the one thing he built. He’s lost one marriage and about to lose another. SC&P is his–he doesn’t want to be just a cog in another agency. Which is part of the reason I think he’ll get it back. Don’s got a lot of grit whatever else you can say about him. In some ways, his “Okay,” is a sign he’s going to put his shoulder to the wheel. Funny how Roger and Ken are the two account types in the episode who seem to get that it’s a good thing to be on Don’s good side. It reminds me of Pete giving into Bob Benson last season–a man who makes something of himself out of nothing is a formidable foe or ally.

            • Alloy Jane

              Except that Ken, and Pete for that matter, actually likes Don. Despite being a converted account man, Ken’s a creative guy and appreciates that in a “like minds” way, rather than a “cash cow” way the others view Don’s creativity. Although it never occurred to me that Jim would hate Don for what he “did” to Ted. And I’m surprised that Peggy and Joan were so nettled to see him back. I must be missing something, but has Peggy hated Don since she accused him of crushing Ted? Joan’s face when she was talking to Don, yeesh, she coulda been cooking a diamond with that tension.

              We all knew Roger was gonna be the one opening the door and it was cute to hear him tell Don he misses him. After that threat from Jim, I wonder how long it would’ve been before Roger went to Don if Don hadn’t come to him.

            • Kit Jackson 1967

              Pete is a wannbe creative. He can’t do what Don does, but he apperciates it.

            • Glammie

              I think Peggy started to really get fed up with Don when he threw the money at her. She left not long after. Post merger, she resented Don’s macho jousting with Ted, but really turned on him when she felt he humiliated her and Ted during the St. Joseph’s Aspirin pitch and then the final blow was when Ted went to California in Don’s place. The latter, of course, was a favor Don did for Ted at some cost to himself. Basically, Peggy hates Don for doing in her romance with Ted. Which as TLO point out is a bit unfair because screwing around with a married man with young kids is not a good thing. But Peggy feels lonely, hurt and thwarted. She’s not happy enough to forgive Don.

            • Alloy Jane

              Honestly, that just makes me hate the writers, if Peggy’s problem with Don is primarily based on what happened with Ted. She has so many more reasons to despise him that going the “slighted woman” route feels extremely condescending. I had forgotten about the money throwing. That alone would be enough for me, nevermind his history of treating her like shit.

            • Glammie

              I think the thing is that Peggy, ’til lately, has done really well in her career. She’s made a lot of money, she’s been in demand, sought after–so when Don treated her badly, she handled it well. She went out and got another, better job. Her love life, on the other hand, has been a series of disappointments. Unlike Abe, Ted “got” Peggy and loved her. So Don’s interference came across to Peggy as controlling and out-of-line. She’s not thinking that clearly about it, but Peggy’s not wise in matters of the heart–kind of stunted. Hope she moves forward instead of freezes in place with her cat.

            • Nancy Aronson

              And let’s face it — I don’t think Peggy can even relate to her cat. I agree with everyone saying Peggy’s flipped out with rage about losing Ted and has made this loss about Don. Peggy has had a bizarre life. Much struggle! Much change! Much confusion! Many mixed drinks! Girl be crazy! Or, at least girl has seriously lost perspective and has found it easy to join the pig pile of hate on top of Don. Just like the pile of crazy she heaped on her gorgeous ex-secretary. Peggy be on the road to loosin’ it. The irony: Don will probably be the one who saves her from herself.

            • Glammie

              Yep. She doesn’t seem particularly attached to the cat, does she? She has one because it’s better than nothing. But Pegs saved him once in a way by spending the night with him when Anna was dying. So Don owes her the favor. I think he was, on one level, trying to protect her from an affair with Ted and the expected fall-out, but he did it in devious controlling Don fashion. Don and Peggy have a weird sort of intimacy that neither handles all that well. Don wants her around, but he’s not willing to be in love with her. Peggy’s feelings about Don are also mixed, to put it mildly. Ted was kind of like Don-lite–no wonder Peggy thought he was the one.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Lo, those many decades past, when I was but a lowly undergraduate, I remember reading an essay written by a radical lesbian feminist literary critic (or, as we used to say, “clitic”). She had a thesis which I remember to this day, that made a lot of sense to me. Can’t remember her name. Thesis: Love triangles in which 2 men compete for the love of 1 woman can be seen about the relationship of the men to each other more than about either man to the woman.
              In the case of Don-Ted-Peggy, it seemed to me that Peggy was like the ad campaign. They didn’t want what was best for the agency; they wanted to Win. Don didn’t want to protect Peggy. He didn’t want Ted to win. As much as Ted loves Peggy (which I believe is real), in the context of the triangle he’s much more preoccupied by beating Don.
              That is my bizarre, 80s, lesbian, feminist, literary clitical take.

            • 3hares

              That was really underscored in that ep of the show where Peggy is left in the middle of the lobby while Don and Ted retreat to their offices and shut their doors.

            • justanotherfan

              When Peggy got the cat, I remember thinking, she finally took her mother’s advice from a long long time ago when her mom first found out that Peggy and Abe were moving in together! lol. Her mom said something like, get a cat, then get another one after the first one’s dead.

            • vvv03

              I thought there was a parallel between Peggy and the Valentine’s Day flowers and Don coming to the office thinking everything was resolved when it wasn’t. I felt the exact same level of discomfort in both scenes.

        • greenwich_matron

          I was annoyed at that. The obvious answer is that the next episodes don’t work unless he accepts it. The writers tend to go over the top in all matters related to business: those terms are a law suit waiting to happen.

          • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

            right? I agree

          • Rhonda Shore

            i was wondering why he hasn’t gotten a lawyer since they put him on leave.

            • greenwich_matron

              It irritates me the way they talk about firing a partner like they were laying off a part-time office assistant. The only way they can get him to leave is to negotiate an exit package or dissolve the partnership.

            • Rhonda Shore

              And why would he have so eagerly signed the new paper w/o having an attorney look at it? He was the one who never even wanted a contract, originally.

            • greenwich_matron

              I kept thinking “entering a contract with no consideration” and “constructive dismissal.”

            • Inspector_Gidget

              That’s a good point. Don didn’t even want a non-restrictive contract when he first joined, and had to be coerced into signing one at all. Now he jumps at the chance? Especially after sitting around all day being humiliated as a “visitor.” Something doesn’t ring true with the character for me.

            • CanIbeFrank

              Except that this character is changing. He’s tired of the lies and who he is and on some level, I think he knows he deserves the stipulations he’s been given. And on another level, he knows that he’s brilliant enough to rise to the top again in spite of the restrictions. He doesn’t care that he has to report to Lou because he has no regard for Lou at all–I’m guessing he’ll play the part of the underling with shrewd obsequiousness while all the creatives (even Peggy, though reluctantly at first) will see him as their authority, rather than Lou. Peggy hates Lou and while she resents Don, she knows he values her and her creative genius.

            • barbiefish

              I agree with your take. Don obviously observed that the underlings in creative were interested in re-engaging with him, even soliciting his input and approval — and he also had to see that Lou was highly annoyed that the staff members were hanging on his (Don’s) every word. Don won’t even have to work hard to topple Lou because the creative department people are hungry for some constructive conversations about what their jobs entail, as opposed to continually being shot down by Lou. Lou will probably crumble on his own and won’t be able to tie it back to some specific offense on Don’s part. If Don has a strategy in agreeing to the terms, I think this is a big part of it.

            • CanIbeFrank

              “If Don has a strategy…” Let’s hope that’s how it plays out! It would be disappointing if Don didn’t. I don’t think any of us truly want a defeated Don. And while a kinder, gentler Don would be refresher, a leopard can only change its spots so much…..

            • Aurumgirl

              I’m almost willing to bet that next episode Lou will just have disappeared, no explanation, no step-by step, just poof! he’s out of the story and no one misses him. He’s that easy for Don to eliminate.

            • Debra

              Actually, I think Don has no real idea what a pain Lou actually is. He thinks he’s “creative”, and thus, someone who will appreciate good ideas. Lou will fight tooth and nail to keep his position, after all – he has a two year contract, and the only way to do that is to undermine Don. And Don will be frustrated and angry, and this will be the source of extreme conflict.

            • Aurumgirl

              I dunno. Lou’s already seen “his” creatives flock to Don in the office. Don’s already well known for what he does, and he’s well lauded (while Lou isn’t capable). Lou already knows his time is up, that’s why he’s yelling at Cutler about getting the rest of his contract money paid out. Whatever they’re paying Lou it couldn’t come anywhere near what they’d have to pay Don to buy him out, so it’s pretty clear they’re going to cut their losses with Lou. Or Don will devise a means to have him quit and make Lou think it was his idea!

            • ABB

              As an ad agency copywriter, I completely agree. Creatives in advertising thrive on constructive criticism and thoughtful considerations of their work, even more than this series shows. In my agency we sit around and discuss the importance of this word over that, this color over the other, so much more than would be interesting for television! That department isn’t just suffering, it’s in a situation that would make it crumble altogether. Why do you think they pay creative directors so much? They’re genius cat herders!

            • justanotherfan

              keeping in mind that Lou is only on a fixed term contract. Don’s end game can be to outshine Lou for the remaining time on Lou’s contract with SC&P then resume his position as creative director.

            • Nancy Aronson

              totally!

            • Debra

              I think it fits in perfectly with his character, because his time on leave has been so demoralizing, along with his day at SCDP when it was clear that he was a welcome loss to the company. The one he made.

              Plus, I think he internalized Megan’s failure with acting and her loss in confidence. He’s doing exactly the same.

            • Jackie4g

              You are thinking in todays terms.

            • Rhonda Shore

              There were attorneys in the 1960s when large amounts of money were at stake.

            • Jackie4g

              Of course there were. But Don never really believed he wouldn’t be back, so it doesn’t matter what the paper says. Whatever else, he knows Sterling Cooper (or whatever name it is currently called), needs him. It was a matter of time. Whatever he signed, I think it was signed so he will still be able to work. He wants to work. He’s willing to eat some humble pie in order to work. The stipulations on that paper will become less important when Don starts bringing in business.

            • Rhonda Shore

              But having to report to Lou? So insulting…

            • Jackie4g

              Absolutely, but it’s not going to last. Lou is pretty volatile (if not downright childish), when it comes to his position and rank, so I think Lou is going to have a meltdown, do a Full Crown Flounce (walk out) and settle for being paid the balance of his contract.

            • Rhonda Shore

              i hope so.

            • 28fairplay

              Don didn’t sign the paper: he just glanced at it and accepted the terms. I’m not sure he’s in such a bad position. His “scripts” are going to be approved by the partners, not Lou and while Jim might try to undercut him, the others probably wouldn’t at the expense of the company.

          • Jackie4g

            Today, yes. In 1969. no.

            • greenwich_matron

              Then they must have a very strange charter.

            • Glammie

              Yeah, it’s one of those things MM doesn’t get quite right. The other being the relative unimportance of media buying in terms of agency clout.

          • much2learn

            Don thrives on challenge. Always. He is creatively at his best when his marriages are at their worst, he likes to have to chase someone/thing, he enjoys conflict in his relationships. He loves being the underdog. It is very true to character. He loves boundaries to push against. So I think if you consider his decision in that capacity instead of he acquiesced to stringent rules and he’s too above that, I think it is consistent with the type of decisions Don would make.

        • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

          It’s because he’s seriously invested in SC&P. He’s defined himself by his work there, it’s personal to him — he doesn’t want to just work anywhere, he has to PROVE he can succeed there again.

        • andrea

          I think he’s hungry for his OLD self, when he really truly had a passion for his work. I’ve seen this happen to people IRL. You have success, you get complacent, and yes, you have the money coming in, but you don’t have to WORK for it anymore, so you kind of drift. I feel with the work he has been doing in his personal life (ironic that he has the best opportunity now to cheat, and yet isn’t), limiting his alcohol consumption, and enjoying doing creative work that he isn’t even getting credit for, he’s just seeking to take it back to the root of things. Also he’s a man who needs a challenge, and having that at work again will be a huge improvement in his overall happiness.

          • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

            Yes, I can see that…its just feels like he has sunk so low

      • ccinnc

        I was SURE he’d say no … can’t drink at the office AND has to report to Lou? This should be fun.

        • Mismarker

          That structure and those rules are either going to be very good for Don or very, very, very bad.

        • MK03

          He won’t last five seconds.

        • decormaven

          He’s going to make it work. This is the man who figured out how to beat out Chaough & Co. with the brilliant faux commercial in “The Sword and the Chrysanthemum.” Don can play the game- remember he is the kid who parked cars at the bar on the outskirts of town. They wouldn’t let him on premises to use the bathroom- he just relieved himself in the car trunks of patrons. He’s a master of observation- a boy raised in a whorehouse who got to the penthouse. If he can lay off the sauce and inappropriate dalliances, Don will make it.

          • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

            Agreed, and watching him do it will be a hell of a show.

          • MarinaCat

            I agree with this sentiment. Some people on FB were of the opinion that Don is scheming and has already hatched a plan. (I think that sometimes, some of the audience has a need to soap-up this program. “Megan is a spy!” ) First, from a practical sense, he had no idea that the deal presented was the deal he was going to get. If anything, he looked surpirsed that Lou was still there. I think that if Don comes out of this on top, it will be for the reasons decormaven mentioned.

          • Jackie4g

            This is a morality play. All the AMC proprietary shows are morality plays. Don will redeem himself.

          • Glammie

            Yep. Lou’s mediocre–and, this was made obvious, all the creatives except Peggy want Don back. Maybe Don has to eat crow and report to Lou, but Don will be running creative pretty quickly because, unlike Lou, he knows how to make an ad work.

            • Alloy Jane

              I don’t think Stan was particularly chuffed to see Don. He’s standing right there next to Peggy, tense as hell but goes in cuz he has no choice. The dude’s in his office and no one knows what’s going on, so he’s playing ball. I’m really surprised that Ginsberg was so happy to see him. I thought he hated him.

            • Kit Jackson 1967

              I think that Ginesberg likes Don, because Don forces him to do his best work and bring his A game if he wants to play.

            • Glammie

              But he does have a choice. He can go hang out in an office if he feels like it. A quick hello and a retreat are all that’s needed. Not even that under the circumstances. But we’ve seen all of them frustrated with Lou’s lack of engagement and the diminishment of creative’s clout in the agency. Peggy’s a bit different because Don’s return puts her position in more jeopardy.

            • Alloy Jane

              Not if he doesn’t know why Don is there. Don showed up unannounced and no one knows what that means. The implication is that he’ll be returning so Stan is playing ball, but that doesn’t mean he’s gung ho about dealing with the dude who not only dicked him out of a spot in sunny LA, but whose general behavior and meltdown probably cost them a lot of work. And what we’re supposed to assume is that things are different now financially at SC&P if Lou is bitching about Stan doing mock-up work when during the Draper days, that stuff was a given. Don was in Stan’s office. He wouldn’t be able to do a drive-by hail fellow without the slight being obvious.

            • Glammie

              Don cost them one client. A big one, but one. And, yes, Stan could do a wave and so-long. All he needs is an excuse that he has to be elsewhere or working on something. The agency doesn’t seem to be going bankrupt, but it’s flat–with only Pete seeming to pull in new clients. Stan doesn’t have to love Don to prefer working with him to a petty, but disinterested boss like Lou who’s nickel-and-diming him.

            • UsedtobeEP

              Ginsberg in general is surprising me this season, and not in a great way. He’s gone from sensitive to callous in a big damn hurry. But I still love him as a character.

            • Nancy Aronson

              You’ve probably read this from other posters. In case you haven’t, I align with those who see Ginzo as an undiagnosed guy in need of mental health support — possibly schizophrenic — somewhere between personality disorder and psychotic. He’s super smart and creative. And, he’s something like autistic. His social filter is way off. He’s being outrageous, but I don’t think he’s conscious of how his behavior registers with others. That said, he’s been a total tool to Peggy this season.

            • MartyBellerMask

              Even Jim admitted Lou was “adequate”.

            • L’Anne

              Adequate! High praise! Also, Joan’s “this is working.” Working isn’t the same as going well or effective. With adequate Lou, they’re treading water in their creative work.

          • lbee

            Yep. I think he welcomes the challenge. He’s been doing this since the very first episode when he was totally unprepared and yet made a brilliant pitch to the cigarette guys – he thrives on thinking on his feet, coming from behind.

          • SundayNights

            When Don accepted the partners’ proposal, the camera shifted ever so slightly and it was hard to tell, but he either had a grimace or a slight smirk. Knowing Don Draper, I thought it was a smirk. He loves a challenge and I think the partners could have thrown anything at him (and they pretty much did) and he has the confidence and the intelligence (or the delusion) to believe he will find a way to get back on top. Watching that is going to be fun!!

        • teddy partridge

          I kept wondering — “has anyone told Lou yet?”

        • andrea

          But he has been actively curtailing his drinking…..and it shows him marking the bottles while he is at the typewriter in his apartment. When he is truly being creative (and not just the big-bucks guy napping on his couch during the day) he doesn’t NEED alcohol. He’s hungry, I think, and wants to prove to himself he still has it.

      • Tracy M

        You know, it’s indicative of actual self-awareness. All the things that Don once would have jumped for were offered to him- a new position at a new firm, a divorce from his disaffected and distant wife, a hot blond for free at a hotel… and he declined. He said no, and he turned to face the music of the life he’s created instead of walking. I know the theme is that ‘people don’t change’, but the truth is, they *can* learn. It will be interesting to see what the Don who faces the mess he made does instead of walking away.

        • leighanne

          The look on his face when he accepted spoke volumes to me- resigned to whatever has to be done to return but also aware that the partners can’t just get rid of him. He wants to get back to some normalcy and return to his life.

        • Mr. Dart

          Yep. And the episode closed with Jimi’s “If 6 was 9″ . My jaw dropped that he would accept a clear trap after a humiliating day… and then that song played– the aural equivalent of a middle finger raised high in the air.

          • decormaven

            Absolutely! I clapped my hands when that song played.

            • Kit Jackson 1967

              My first thought when the song played was, “and there’s the music budget for the season.” It was totally worth it though.

        • Nancy Aronson

          exactly!

      • Chris

        That was a ludicrous moment in a show that had more than one. I had issues with how they wrote Megan and Betty this episode but the idea that Don would agree to potentially throw away what must account to MILLIONS of dollars in today’s money with his shares on a one sided deal was just ridiculous.

        • 3hares

          Don’s always been that kind of gambler. I buy it’s in his character to do that.

          • Chris

            He had so much leverage with all the shares he owns. I thought for sure he would use that to force their hands. He just capitulated and gave up his most valuable assets and bargaining chip.

            • Glammie

              You’re assuming that Don won’t make it under those terms. Don knows he’s survived much worse. Also, if he gets booted, he walks elsewhere on Madison Ave. Don’s never been about the money, per se. He wants his agency back and he knows that Lou is such a weak link (since he’s had Dawn and Freddie reporting to him) that once Don is back in and on good behavior, SC & P won’t be able to afford to get rid of him–the clients will walk, particularly with Ted Chaough being out of commission. Cutler, in particular, was looking for a deal that Don would not be able to accept. Don called his bluff. Well, he and Roger. Jim shouldn’t have quietly threatened Roger in that last episode.

            • Chris

              Don is gambling with loaded dice. Don is not in control of his destiny he’s given all the power to them. Suppose Lou and Cutler falsely state Don has violated the agreement and swear to it. Don loses all his years of work. It’s ridiculous. It’s one thing to gamble, it’s another to hand your money over on a rigged game. Roger is the only one who would try to keep things honest and he can’t be everywhere.

            • Glammie

              Lou and Cutler may state that, but if Don’s pulling in accounts, doing his genius thing and winning over Joan, he’ll be fine. It’s not a good agreement for Don, but it gets his foot back on the door and Don is betting that he can do the rest. Of course, the odds are meant to be stacked against him. Cutler wants him out, so does Joan. But Roger wants him back because it bolsters his position. Bert knows that Don behaving has made Bert a lot of money. Even if the contract’s violated, the partners still have to agree to let him go and they need a pretty unified vote to do that. Joan and Pete are minor partners who essentially cancel one another out. So you could, possibly, have Don, Roger and Bert vote for Don and Ted and Cutler vote against him and Don still stays on.

              Basically, the stakes are that Don gets his second chance, but he won’t get a third if he blows it. But no matter what happens, Don is marketable as long as he can write copy. In the real world, his position would be more solid simply because he’d have clients who’d walk with him.

            • melisaurus

              Lou is hot headed, he’s as bad if not worse than Pete. I wouldn’t be surprised if he loses it and quits.

          • UsedtobeEP

            He’s gambling on himself, and I bet he wins, and not in the “conquest of the moment” way we are used to seeing.

        • melisaurus

          I think having a purpose and being great at advertising is more important to him than money.

        • andrea

          He came from nothing. I feel he was happiest when he was WORKING towards something. He has had money for a while now, and yet he’s more miserable than ever. I truly feel the money has never meant anything to him, it was just an added benefit to being successful at his job, and gave a little more credibility behind his swagger.

      • Not applicable

        that hurt.

      • Rottenwood

        Don’s not running anymore; he’s going to take his medicine (the non-whiskey kind) and try to redeem himself. He could have sniped back at Peggy, but he realized he’s been a raging ass to her for years and he took her barb with surprising grace. He even listened to some no-name schmuck rant about his personal problems without telling him to fuck off. It was surreal.

        It remains to be seen how effective it will be, but Don Draper is going to man up and try to make things work. Damn near makes me misty-eyed.

        • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

          I know, it’s GREAT. :D

        • Alloy Jane

          I’m sure on some level it felt good to be the Daddy again. A young guy coming to him for advice beyond work? Must’ve felt nice after so much time in silence feeling like a loser.

      • Yolanda

        I am hoping that he has something up his sleeve that will blow them out of the water.

      • Inspector_Gidget

        The agency is so dysfunctional now. I won’t be surprised if the series ends with them finally being taken over by McCann or some other huge corporation. That’s the wave of the future, innit? Or is it too early for that yet?

        • decormaven

          It’s totally within possibilities. McCann bought Putnam, Powell and Lowe, which owned Sterling/Co.

      • Zaftiguana

        It’s another example of how impulsive he is (the whole creation of the agency in its current, ill-conceived format being another). In the end, the only two truly stupid and unreasonable parts of the deal, clearly designed to get him to quit, are “No being alone with clients” and “You report to Lou,” and let’s face it, neither of those are going to last. Not that I think Don was really thinking along those lines when he agreed so much as being desperate to fix things, like he always is, but this really could work out for him in the end.

        • Kit Jackson 1967

          Are there rules about who the other person has to be? Could it be Peggy or one of the other people in creative, or does it have to be a partner?

      • Retrogirl

        Lou will be out of there in no time. Everyone will get fed up with him. I doubt if he makes it to the seconf half of season seven. Don is brilliant, and I think these terms will put him in his place. He did f up the Hershey pitch, and yes it cost the firm a great deal, but overall they know that they are failing and Don can help to get them out of the mess they are in, IF he complies to the terms. I do think, overal, that if he ad libs a litle and the clients are happy, there’s no way they will let him go. He is too valuable.

      • Redlanta

        I still think they were setting him up, so they don’t have to pay out the
        Partnership clause. Who knows- this could be the best Rehab for Don!

      • http://www.spellboundbymovies.com Beth Ann

        Yes, those were awful terms.

      • Nancy Aronson

        When Don responded in the affirmative it looked like a glorious poker move, simultaneously calling their bluff, and owning his humility. He is tired of drinking to cover the disparity of who he is versus how people see him. One minute blond stewardesses and random diners are openly trying to seduce him, the next, old female friends are giving him hell. He wants to win back the trust of the women he loves. Until or unless he doesn’t, of course.

      • Debra

        Because there was a direct parallel to what he said to Megan at the beginning of the episode. Megan was acting desperate and needy, because she had lost her confidence. So she was behaving poorly with the director.

        Don, after spending an entire day enduring hostile looks and comments at SCDP, along with that interminable “on-leave” scenario, with an angry wife to boot, has lost all confidence. He would have agreed to anything.

    • Capt. Renault

      I was *so mad* when the partners casually mentioned that Don gets Lane’s old office. Peggy gets stiffed again!

      • ConnieBV

        Was she in that office? You’re also making me wonder if this means that Peggy will get demoted….

        • http://thejoyfulfox.blogspot.com/ Laura

          Yep, that’s currently her office. Poor Peggy…I don’t think that’s going to go over well.

          • ConnieBV

            Ah, screw. Her living room floor is about to see a lot more action…

            • Rhonda Shore

              Peggy is becoming exceedingly bitter and unpleasant. A little generosity of spirit is called for, it’s not necessary to kick someone when they’re down.

            • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

              She is, but I think after her meteoric rise she has slammed against her glass ceiling and is beginning to realize it. She thought her job would “make it all worth it” just like Betty was told her children would, and that’s not turned out to be true. She’s every bit as pissed and petulant, punishing her father figure, as Betty and Megan.

            • Chris

              Don kicked her plenty of times over the years. Peggy has a lot of built up resentment. Don never taught her that lesson. Ted tried it in that office and see where it got him with Don.

            • Inspector_Gidget

              I have to agree that it’s getting harder and harder to root for Peggy. She doesn’t seem to be handling things particularly well. I suppose she did learn from the master.

        • Aurumgirl

          Peggy’s already been demoted. Lane’s office is the office of the dead–and Peggy working under Lou was a no-win proposition for her. Her job at that agency basically became a demotion once Ted and Don were gone. And, Lou has made it clear he doesn’t value anything she does. Lou would simply have done as he does and Peggy would have been forced out without being fired, outright.

          So now Don is put in her position, in the office of the now figuratively dead. This is where it gets interesting.

      • Lady Bug

        I wonder if that would mean that Peggy will still have her own office, or if she’s going back to sharing an office with Ginsberg and Stan?

        • Capt. Renault

          She could share, or she could pass the misery along and take Dawn’s.

          • http://angrynerdgirl.net/ Jessi03

            That’s probably what she’ll do. Hopefully Dawn and Joan won’t let that happen.

          • Lady Bug

            Who has Pete & Ted’s old offices?

            • http://angrynerdgirl.net/ Jessi03

              I thought Joan moved into Ted’s. Not sure about Pete.

            • Capt. Renault

              I thought Joan had Pete’s, and Ken had Ted’s. But I could be wrong.

            • Rhonda Shore

              I thought Ken had Pete’s.

            • Bev Wiesner

              which is the office with the column- was that Petes- I frget who was whining so bitterly about that – Pete or Harry

            • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

              No, Ted is still directly across from Don/Lou’s office. There was that moment last season when they both closed their doors and left Peggy standing in between. And when Ted dropped by in the premiere this season, from the conference room Peggy saw him greeting Moira and going inside his office.

            • http://angrynerdgirl.net/ Jessi03

              Oh, ok. I just remember (last week?) Bert complaining that they were meeting in what I thought was Ted’s office instead of in the conference room. Ted’s office is the one with the stylized vagina motif on the wall, yes?

            • Kit Jackson 1967

              If Don gets Peggy’s current office/Lane’s old office, maybe they’ll let her take Ted’s office (“borrow” it while he’s in California and not using it on a regular basis). Assuming she keeps her current title, she still needs an office, and I could see her fighting for the office. It would be a nice call-back to how she got her first office at SC.

            • 3hares

              Ken has Pete’s, I think. At the top of the stairs, with Pete’s secretary. Ted’s was on the lower floor. I think that was the whole joke of Ken’s intro this year, where you hear somebody yelling in that office and it turns out to be Ken.

            • eringorock

              Joan’s got to have one of them, no?

          • snarkykitten

            That was my first thought, since this show loves to give women a promotion, then rip it away. (not unlike reality, so that’s not a dig)

        • lbee

          Ohh, what if she and Don have to share an office?!? Ok probably not, but that would be glorious.

      • Aroo

        On the upside for Peggy, Meredith comes with the office!

        • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

          Oh, so you think Meredith will be assigned to Don? Hm. Well, I hope it’ll be clear anyway that Dawn has her hands full now and can’t continue in that capacity.

          • Aroo

            They have a new lady out front and Peggy has effectively been demoted so she can do her own typing now. Meredith is probably excited about the precedent Don’s set with his previous secretaries.

            • juliamargaret

              That would explain why they had her say something that indicated she was happy he was back in a dreamy way. I was wondering what that was all about!

        • Lady Bug

          She and Peggy do seem to get along

          • Fjasmine

            I think Meredith gets along with everyone, even Joan couldn’t stay mad at her about the divorce paper. Meredith is too clueless to mind being insulted.

        • leighanne

          I think Peggy is just going along with the secretary she was assigned. In the last episode she said that Meredith had the mind of a child.

          • marlie

            She’s easy enough to boss around that way.

          • Fjasmine

            Peggy occasionally figures out when she’s pushing it.

          • L’Anne

            “Maybe I should get pencil?”

            But is Meredith THAT dumb? She did master parliamentary procedure. Roger called her a stickler. Scarlett didn’t master rules of order– Joan noted her many mistakes when Scarlett started to cover the partners’ meetings. I figured that was why Meredith started to cover them.

        • MartyBellerMask

          Ooh, that is harsh. Yeah, I don’t think Don gets to keep Dawn in this deal.

        • Aurumgirl

          Not sure that’s an upside. Remember, Joan was about to serve some justice to Lou by replacing Dawn with Meredith after his babyish tirade against her. Meredith is a comeuppance, not a reward.

          • Aroo

            That’s what I mean. Peggy loses the office, but on the upside she loses Meredith as well.

            • Aurumgirl

              ah, ok.

      • MasterandServant

        I yelled that out, too! Screwed again

      • Chris

        I wonder if putting him in there is going to make him face again how he treated Lane. Now he is the one fighting for another chance, I wonder if living in Lane’s office and his “shoes” for a while will have an effect on Don.

        • 3hares

          When did Don ever treat Lane badly?

          • Chris

            When he secretly fired him over the check which led to Lane killing himself in that office. It can be argued he was correct to do it but he showed no real pity or awareness of Lane’s situation when he told him to just go and start over somewhere. Don is an incredibly wealthy man with lauded talent but he can’t walk away from SC&P.

            • MerBearStare

              That’s unfair. Don’s done a lot of shitty things, but that wasn’t one of them. Lane stole money and Don found out. What was he supposed to do? He had no way of knowing that Lane would kill himself.

            • Chris

              Ask the other partners?

            • 3hares

              Asking the other partners would have destroyed Lane. He’d have been publicly punished for what he did and never work in that job again.

            • Chris

              I don’t think we know that. Bert saw Don as useful when Pete exposed him and his false identity and didn’t get rid of him. Joan was sympathetic towards Lane a lot. After the board vote about Don last season, I can honestly say I cannot predict how people on that show will act.

            • 3hares

              There was very little chance that all those people would have reacted to Lane’s embezzling funds by simply being sympathetic to him. Regardless, Don’s not telling them was an act of mercy, not a bad thing. He was protecting Lane by keeping it a secret and absorbing the loss.

            • decormaven

              Agreeing with you. Don did the best thing he could in the situation. I can guarantee Cooper would have made a big stink about it. He lives and dies by the numbers.

            • Bev Wiesner

              agree. Remember Lanes father ? having to go back to dreay old England with a wife you humilitaed ? Having to leave the Playboy-bunnied, exciting , fast-paced, people-behaving-outrageously, New York? Not Dons fault l

            • Glammie

              Don changing his name and coming from a tawdry background isn’t the same as cooking the books. Don helped the agency by being its resident creative genius, Lane was hurting it by jeopardizing it financially and legally. I can’t see Bert or Pete putting up with embezzling money from the firm. Roger either.

            • Chris

              Don didn’t just change his name-he assumed a dead man’s identity to get himself out of a war. That is a very serious crime and one that had Don literally sweating and making himself sick when he thought he was going to be exposed. It forced Pete to dump some very prestigious government business to protect Don and the company. Don put Pete in the position of being involved in Don’s crime as well as the company. These are not small, harmless things. If Don revealing he was raised in a whorehouse caused an uproar, the exposure of him as a fraud and a deserter would devastate the agency.

            • SundayNights

              I agree! There’s no way Don could have known, and I thought he did the decent thing because the other partners might have had Lane arrested. I’m sure Lane’s suicide lays on Don’s head, just as his brother’s suicide does, but he was blameless in Lane’s case.

            • 3hares

              I totally disagree. I think Don showed sympathy for Lane there–he didn’t have awareness, but it’s hard to understand someone who’s completely different than you are. Don’s been in that sort of situation and he wouldn’t have killed himself, so he had no idea Lane would. Lane had embezzled from the company and Don kept that a secret, took the blame for the check and covered it for him. I think that shows Don showing pity and compassion for the guy. And now Don actually is in a similar situation to Lane and, just as Don said to him then, he doesn’t feel the same way. He’s ready to start over. Lane couldn’t. If Don had been given the chance Don gave Lane, he would have taken it.

            • Chris

              They did give Don that chance, he could have said he left them. He could go start over anywhere. Lane didn’t even have any money. Don’s shares are worth a fortune. Enough that it would take a flourishing agency 6 years to catch up after paying him off. He wouldn’t have had to start over completely, just lower down than his previous position and he still chose to stay at SC&P. Don got the benefit of a partners’ vote. Lane was judged and sentenced by Don only.

            • 3hares

              Lane’s problem wasn’t lack of money, it was shame. Don can face the shame and Lane couldn’t. He didn’t want to return to England and his father.

            • Chris

              Lane was desperate for money. He couldn’t even pay his son’s school tuition due to the high taxes in the U.K. That’s why he took the money. Later on the money came in and they had a surplus but at that time Lane was pretty desperate.

            • greenwich_matron

              He could have asked for a loan: he had an extraordinary tax problem as a direct result of joining the new partnership. The partners or the bank would have considered a loan, but he couldn’t bring himself to ask.

            • 3hares

              I know he was desperate for money fast because of the taxes situation. But the thing that he couldn’t face was the shame. I think Don even paid off the debt.

            • Glammie

              He was desperate because he kept trying to live a life he couldn’t afford. It’s not the end of the world if his kid goes to a public school, but to Lane it was. Don wouldn’t kill himself over that–he’s been dirt poor and come out. I think that was a bit of the joke with Sally last episode. He was telling her, in a sense, that he’d been that poor and had skipped the check.

            • Glammie

              Lane didn’t ask for a partner’s vote. He didn’t want them to know–he confided in Don and Don did the decent thing by covering the loss.

              The agency’s not flourishing–that’s part of why Bert and Roger decided Don could come back and why Jim was bitching about Don’s salary and the talk of a computer OR Don, but not both.

              And Don wasn’t free to leave–he has a noncompete clause–which is part of why he showed the offer to Roger and Roger went to the partners. And because Don is a large partner in SC&P, it makes sense for him to be with that agency and reap the financial benefits of ownership. He goes to Wells, Rich and Greene and he’ll be doing the same work without the partner benefit.

            • Fjasmine

              And Don commits fraud everytime he signs a check.

            • Glammie

              Nope. Using an alias (though I think Don may have legally changed his name) doesn’t make it fraud.

            • Chris

              Yes it is fraud. He assumed a dead man’s name, identity and presumably his social security number. On top of that he is a deserter of the Korean War.

            • Glammie

              He didn’t treat him badly. He didn’t call the cops and covered the loss. Lane committed a felony that carried a prison term. He also put the entire firm at risk. You can’t keep a finance guy who does that. Embezzlement’s not a joke. Don gave Lane what he, himself, would need to survive–a chance to start over.

            • Chris

              He also didn’t “owe” Adam anything and he gave him a large sum of money. (Also five thousand dollars I believe). Yet he feels incredibly guilty over his death as well. Morally Don feels responsible in some way for both deaths.

            • Glammie

              Apples and oranges. Don shut out Adam because he didn’t want to be exposed. He fired Lane because it’s unethical to keep a finance guy who cooks books–it puts the agency at risk. Adam was his brother, Lane was a coworker–the expectations are very different. And while Don feels guilt over both deaths, he tried to do the right thing with Lane–give him a way out without exposing what he did–and he emotionally abandoned Adam. It was Don’s bad luck that Lane was fragile in a way that Don is not.

            • Chris

              Lane was supposed to be his friend not just a coworker. Adam was a grown man not a child, and not Don’s child. Despite whatever you think about the situation it’s clear Don feels guilt over both, which was the point. Staying in Lane’s old office will likely have an effect on Don as it was clear he had a guilty conscience about Lane whether anyone thinks he deserved to or not. Same with Adam.

            • Glammie

              Lane and Don did not socialize. Don doesn’t really have friends–that’s been pretty well established. And, yes, I said that Don feels guilt about both deaths. What I dispute is your claim that Don showed no pity or awareness when he fired Lane. Lane, not Don, was responsible for embezzling from the company.

            • Chris

              They did socialize. Don went out with him and they both got hookers and went back to Don’s apartment one weekend. Don is the only one who met Lane’s father when he came over. They all went out to the playboy club. Lane socialized with Don more than anyone else in that office. Don was the closest of the partners to Lane with the possible exception of Joan (which admittedly is not necessarily all that close). Of course Lane is responsible for his actions, just as Don is for his own. If Don reacted to his leave the way Lane did to his firing, the partners would have to deal with their guilt about Don whether or not they were justified in their actions. Don showed no awareness of who Lane was because he didn’t understand that Lane’s personality and age (plus financial situation) would make it impossible for him to just go and reinvent himself somewhere. Don wasn’t aware that not everyone is like him. We also learned recently that Don isn’t the same young guy who can just go start over somewhere. He wanted to stay at SC&P so badly he was willing to take the worst deal I’ve ever heard of, even though financially he was very secure and had other offers on the table. I think his current situation will make him reflect on Lane even more while working in his old office. I don’t think Don really did pity Lane until after he was dead. I think Don thought he was being fair, and that Lane would just go on to start up somewhere else. I don’t think Don really did have pity for Lane because he never understood how bad off Lane was until after he was gone and Don has never had a problem making money. It’s not that Don was unjustified in what he did, or that Lane wasn’t guilty of a crime, just that Don hadn’t been vulnerable in the way Lane felt vulnerable when he handled the situation. Now that Don knows what followed with Lane, and has since been made to feel very vulnerable in his own agency spending time in Lane’s office may trigger more feelings and reactions in him.

        • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

          He’ll have to face all of his symbolic demons, won’t he? Working in the office of the hanged man can only remind him of how he contributed to Layne and Adam’s deaths.

      • marlie

        Even though he’s certainly a dick to her, that’s another thing that’s not actually his fault that she’s going to blame him for, as well.

    • http://brianfortedesigns.com/ BForte

      Francine calling Betty “Betty Draper” instead of “Betty Francis” was a big record-scratch moment for me (I had to rewind to make sure I heard properly). Simply because that’s the life Francine knows her from or further proof that Betty will never change no matter what her surname is?

      • ConnieBV

        I noticed this, too! No matter what, she will always be Betty Draper. She doesn’t even get to keep her maiden name.

      • Joy

        Yes! I thought that was so telling, since she’s been married to Henry for a while now. Very interesting and subtle moment.

      • decormaven

        Maybe it was a little dig, since Betty was going on about “Rocky.” Francine may have been signalling “hey, you’re moving up in the world, but I remember you when.”

        • http://brianfortedesigns.com/ BForte

          Good call, especially after Betty was so condescending about Francine’s new career.

        • MK03

          Who is Rocky? That one went right over my head.

          • lbee

            Rockefeller. I was thinking that too – if that was the reason for the bitchface Betty gave her at the end of that scene.

      • Inspector_Gidget

        I still maintain that all the Drapers belong back together again. They’re all so Damaged Goods they should just keep making each other miserable rather than spreading the wealth to others.

        • http://brianfortedesigns.com/ BForte

          But what about Gene?! He’s an innocent!

          UNLESS… he’s secretly working for Bob Benson, Time Traveler & International Man of Mystery…………

          • Inspector_Gidget

            Gene has Don and Betty as parents. He’ll need therapy regardless.

            • http://inanimateblog.com/ NoNeinNyet

              Betty even said tonight that it’s only a matter of time before he hates her too.

        • Kit_W

          lol! I think there’s more truth to this than you realize. Did you notice Bobby’s clothes as he sat at the kitchen table after school when the field trip was announced? He was literally a mini-me of Don, in a buttoned up menswear striped shirt complete with a stylized striped very wide business- suit kind of tie. Not to mention his hair. I don’t remember any talk or hint at parochial school for Bobby, and it certainly doesn’t read parochial to me anyway. It reads Wall Street.
          There’s also the very harsh and distant, seriously hateful in a very selfish way, mother that Don had and now Bobby has to grow up with.
          Like poverty, sometimes these cycles just go on and on.

          • 28fairplay

            Republican suburban style all the way.

          • Kathryn Sanderson

            I’m pretty sure Bobby goes to a private (but not parochial) day school, and so did Sally before she went to boarding school. The kids have been in private schools since they moved to Rye. I’m pretty sure Betty mentioned that at some point last season or the previous one. I think they went to public school in Ossining, but I don’t remember anyone saying one way or another.

        • Fjasmine

          I have always rooted for that. There is more chemisty between them when Don says “Birdie” than any time he tells Megan he loves her. Henry is too kind for Betty.

      • Missyshep

        That was a direct insult to Betty’s claim of being old fashioned. Francine calling her Betty Draper was like saying “Oh yes divorce is so old fashioned, not”. Remember Francine stood by her man after he cheated on her.

        • Missyshep

          I was also surprised Tom and Lorenzo didn’t mention this exchange in their recap. I thought it was awesome. Betty can pretend all she wants but Francine knows her pretty well.

        • L’Anne

          Betty divorced Don because he lied to her for 10 or so years. She tolerated at least 6 affairs: Midge, Rachel, Bobbie, Suzanne, Shelly, Joy, and the referenced Sarah at Random House and the free-lancer from the elevator. And he basically left her for lmost a month with no contact at all.

      • Jonathan Alpart

        Betty had just finished her self-righteous, passive-aggressive rant about how “old-fashioned” she is compared to working-woman Francis.

        Divorce is not old-fashioned.

    • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

      Not really sure why Don is so hell bent on going back, I mean he could build a career for himself somewhere else. Also why would you tell someone that they need time off instead of just firing them when that’s what you mean? Why would they offer Lou a two year contract? That place is a mess. Did they not think about the money when they would have to buy Don out?

      Also, Betty making an 8 year old feel bad about a stupid sandwich.

      • http://angrynerdgirl.net/ Jessi03

        Since Don has a non-compete clause, he actually can’t go work somewhere else. Unless, of course, they actually fire him, which is why they did that “time off” bullshit.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          Yes but two of them were like I thought he was fired and we were just trying to save him some embarassment…ummm either you are fired or not. And if he is fired, give him his money and let him be on his way. The fact that they didn’t even all agree on what went down and they don’t all seem to consider that they have to in fact buy him out and figure that into their budget…

          • lbee

            It’s kind of surprising that Joan didn’t make sure they were clear back then and get it all in writing. You’d think of all people, she would have been a stickler for the details on HR matters.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Yes this is the thing that kills me about that agency. I agree Don was a mess prior to his break BUT he was not then or now the only thing unprofessional about that place. If you decide to ask a partner to leave…at least be on the same page about it and discuss the monetary repercussions. Then they all acted shocked to see him…do you really someone is going to stay on leave indefintely and not ask for a follow up at some point? Then they hired a replacement for a person they didn’t even let go. Why would you offer someone a two year contract without a trial period?

            • UsedtobeEP

              Um hello, what IS professional about that place? Even Joan, with all of her professional veneer, throws model airplanes at people.

            • Chris

              Well that’s the irony of the place, someone is always judging someone else when they probably did things as bad or worse. Roger almost single handedly collapsed the agency by hiding the fact Lucky Strike was dumping them. He then went on to offend the Japanese delegation from Honda and all but throw them out. It took an outsider with an agenda to rally the other partners and oust Don for his breakdown during the Hershey pitch. Joan stepped over Pete on Avon and was on the verge of getting fired for it before Peggy’s note gave her a reprieve. Not long after she was part of the council to suspend Don. Pete was best buddies with Bert and Joan while planning to take the agency public and he was exiled in disgrace months later. There is little loyalty and seemingly no plans at times there.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              LOL

        • Mismarker

          Makes you wonder just how long they were going to let Don swing in the wind. Thank God for Roger Sterling!

          • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

            Exactly. That in itself would make me want out of there. I think Roger helping Don had to do with the way Cutler acted last week

          • http://angrynerdgirl.net/ Jessi03

            Roger was my hero of the episode. If only he could have actually showed up to work at a decent hour and saved Don some grief.

            • Fjasmine

              I loved it, Don deserves to be humbled. Except it gave more time to harrass Dawn, however after the way she stood up for herself with Lou I have hopes for her not putting up with Don.

            • Alloy Jane

              Call me crazy, but she didn’t look too happy to have him back in the office. She has new responsibilities and him expecting her to go back to being his secretary will undermine her newfound success. Don’s volatile, and just being in that office was–to put it in the vernacular–fucking shit up.

            • L’Anne

              I think a lot of the Don/Dawn interaction is also related to his absence. When he left, she WAS his secretary. Why wouldn’t he still her that way? He hasn’t been around to know the new “lay of the land.” I think once he’s back and sees what’s what and who is where, he’ll approach her differently. As he gets back to business, he’ll have a new secretary (or share one). For the most part, Don has been nice to Dawn since she was hired and praised her as a good secretary.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Dawn is a goddess, literally, Aurora, the dawn. She is a complex woman capable of being taxed and overwhelmed by a zillion responsibilities, including an entitled Don Draper with his needs for whatever having stumbled into a hostile unwelcoming environment on a supposed first day. She is the Dawn.

          • Kit_W

            I think SCP thought that Don realized they didn’t flat out fire him out of respect and that they were merely giving him the opportunity to leave the firm of his own accord with the slightest shred of dignity in tact. They were counting on him to read between those lines. They all knew, even Don Knew, that he would get some pretty big offers from other firms out there once the word was out about his ‘hiatus’.
            I think the partners saw it as an opportunity at win/win for all of them. They support Don until he gets an equally paying position – certain it would never be as big an offer of partnership though – at another firm, and SCP absorbs his shares. The non-compete clause would be rendered useless as he would no longer be employed by SCP. Without knowing the particulars of the agreement, I think I recall the clause was only in effect while he was on hiatus.
            It’s all about power and control with Don though, so he’d rather come back to SCP bound an gagged on his knees than give up his partnership. As long as he’s a partner he remains to have some kind of power and, by god, with his ability to sell ice to Eskimos and his weird, masochistic, Voo-Doo that he uses to rise like a Phoenix from the ashes, I think this man has some serious tricks up his sleeve.
            Can’t wait to see what they are.

            • housefulofboys

              Truly, the business decisions that SCP made at the end of last season were horrendous. Don’s non-complete clause almost certainly dates back to the original partnership organization; it’s standard procedure to protect the company if one of the partners decides to leave. Thus Don would not be able to draw on existing contacts in his new position for a period of years if he leaves voluntarily, which is why any other firm would only offer him a lesser position (Roger’s quip about the offer being a “demotion”). Second, you don’t want a partner with a track record as a rain maker working for your competitors, ever. Third, the company can’t absorb his shares as a major partner without taking a huge long-term hit, and the fact that Roger is bringing this up only now, points to how poorly this was thought out.

          • Fjasmine

            I wondered that too, maybe they thought he’d drink himself into a permanent stupor. Seemed like they were hoping to just not deal with him.

        • Kit Jackson 1967

          That’s what I thought. Thanks for clarifing it for me.

      • http://www.ellenciompi.com/ NurseEllen

        I don’t think Harry is really fired, I think it was Roger basically saying, “Shut up and let’s get to the REAL business of this meeting.”

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          I wasn’t sure, he did lie to a client

          • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

            But he didn’t get caught, and Jim seemed more impressed by that than anything. It was confusing, but I think that while Roger signaled he was willing to lose Harry, Jim actually just wanted to get a computer. They didn’t follow through with firing him.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              thanks:)

            • Lady Bug

              That was my impression as well. I don’t think Roger understands or appreciates Harry’s job, but I don’t think he cares about it enough one way or another. Poor Harry, he seems languishing in the Media Department (isn’t the entire department, just himself?). With Pete, even when the other partners are annoyed by him, they at least appear to recognize his talent and his importance to the agency. Harry’s ideas, which are good ideas, are usually ignored. Oh well, at least he has Scarlett ;) That is, unless in the game of musical-receptionists, Scarlett becomes Don Draper’s new assistant?

            • Eric Stott

              Harry is a swell headed pain, but he’s more in touch with current events than anyone on the staff. His clothes look ridiculous to us now but that look was absolutely on trend in the late 60′s.

            • lbee

              I think Roger dislikes Harry because of the way he treated Joan, basically calling her a whore in front of everyone. And everyone agrees he’s an ass anyway, so they ignore his contributions. So Roger is fine with any excuse to let him go. But no I don’t think he’s really fired.

            • Kit Jackson 1967

              Joan acknowledged that she couldn’t seperate Scarlett and Harry.

            • Nancy Aronson

              On the other hand, perhaps Harry is ignored because he isn’t a very good guy. I mean the inconvenience of that Martin Luther King guy getting killed and all . . .

            • greenwich_matron

              I agree. I am not even sure that Jim was insulting Harry when he called him dishonest…

            • Cheryl

              Hah, I turned to the Viking and said “That might be a compliment, but I’m not sure”.

            • decormaven

              And spoken by the King of Dishonesty. How rich!

            • Kit Jackson 1967

              I thought it was a compliment.

            • Alloy Jane

              IKR? I thought he was paying him an absolute compliment, from one shyster to another.

            • Nancy Aronson

              In case you’re not being facetious (can’t tell): yeah. He was being insulting.

            • Fjasmine

              I think Harry has been so close to being fired so many times that no one takes it seriously anymore.

        • 28fairplay

          Roger was willing to fire Harry if Jim wanted it without even needing a cause. But that’s not what Jim meant, so I doubt Harry is gone. It’s almost reassuring that SC&P treats its male employees as badly as the female secretaries.

      • Scimommy

        I thought Harry was fired, but let’s wait and see.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          I did too

        • Chris

          I wasn’t sure about that. It sounded like he was but it would be so stupid I couldn’t believe that was what they meant.

        • Alloy Jane

          Seeing as how Harry is a giant jackass that they all dislike, I’m not surprised Roger assumed Jim bringing up Harry was due to a problem, but then Jim champions Harry’s cause and because no one likes Harry, they chuck the issue under the rug. Kind like: “You have a problem with Harry? HE’S FIRED! You don’t? Oh.”

      • AnotherJulie

        I have never hated Betty more. And that is saying something.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          agreed

        • greenwich_matron

          Me too. I felt that the way she treated Bobby was one of the worst things she ever did because she wouldn’t let it go. I always gave her a little leeway because she had such good reason to be bitter, but the way she held on to the imagined slight of a kid was pathological. She should just stay away from her kids.

        • French_Swede

          Thank heavens Sally is away from home now. Even being surrounded by those snobby Miss Porter’s girls, she’s much better off than at home. As we saw last week, Sally has a lot of Don in her, which I hope will keep her from becoming Betty 2.0

          • Fjasmine

            I don’t think that’s saying much, Sally could wind up being the worst of both of them. Hope Henry’s kindness has some effect but probably it’s too late.

            • Kit Jackson 1967

              I’m curious, what kind of person would Sally be if she ended up with the worst qualities of both parents? I do see her as a mix of both parents.

            • Fjasmine

              Don and Betty both are selfish and manipulative. They both lack perspective and are disengaged from reality.

      • Fjasmine

        I didn’t understand what Cutler was saying about Ted either.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          Yes I don’t even believe him but what is he referring to…the affair? the embarassment at the meeting? The competitiveness? what?

          • Alloy Jane

            I think it has to do with the pissing contest Don started and the many, small Ted humiliations that followed that eventually lead to Ted breaking. Ted was so optimistic, he just wanted to make things work cohesively, but Don couldn’t have that because it would mean relinquishing control, and went to work undermining any progress Ted would make in consolidating the two offices. It makes sense that now Jim is working to wrest total control because he’s finishing a fight that Don started. It’s personal. No wonder he hired the anti-Don that is Lou.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Ok this never even ocurred to me

        • Redlanta

          Cutler didn’t want Ted to move to California. He blames Don; because Don gave Ted his place in California…

      • UsedtobeEP

        He’s mad that Don helped send Ted to California. Jim is lonely. And conniving.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          makes sense!

    • Scimommy

      So much to say about this episode, and you covered most of it. The only thing I would disagree with slightly is that people don’t change on this show. I am actually starting to think that the arc of the last and this season is Don’s change from a man who lies constantly to protect his alpha-male image, to someone who is starting to recognize and acknowledge these lies, both to himself and others. Granted, so far telling the truth seems to mostly backfire for him, apart from his interactions with Sally. But, perhaps naively, I hope he keeps on doing this and eventually figures out yet another successful version of Don Draper – one that is more decent and self-aware. What’s one more reinvention of self for Dick Whitman?

      On an unrelated note: when Jim Cutler said “I speak for Ted”, I yelled “No, you don’t!!!”

      • ConnieBV

        I agree, Scimommy. As jaded as I want to be, I think we all want Don to see the light.

      • Eric Stott

        I don’t think Sally loves her, but she’s got a connection.

        • Scimommy

          Yes, that’s why I said “at least for a while.” As far as Sally goes, that train has sailed.

          • P M

            “That train has sailed” LOL. I’m stealing that one :)

          • Alloy Jane

            And Betty gave her one hell of a wind to go on.

    • MilaXX

      I have to admit last night was uncomfortable to watch but also more interesting than the show has been in a minute. I was getting tired of cheating, drinking, womanizing Don. This Don is not one I can predict and it’s interesting to watch. When they gave them this awful offer I was secretly hoping he’d tell them to eff off. Now I want him to fool Jim’s scheming and help show Liu the door. The other highlight was that lunch Betty had. I’m tired of the character, but Betty & her friend politely throwing shade at each other was a hoot.

      • ConnieBV

        Francine sighting!!! It took me a minute to recognize her, and it is a hoot that the housecoat wearing dip from years ago is actually feeling a sense of fulfillment and purpose in her life. The sad part is it lead to Betty trying to do the same in her life, only to find, once again, that mothering isn’t really her calling.

        • AZU403

          When the housewife and the working mother sniped at each other I instantly recalled a laundry commercial from about 1970 – woman and son come into a laudromat; 2 “friends” observe caustically, “There’s Mary – doesn’t she have a job now?” “I’d wrk too, if it didn’t mean neglecting my family.” Mary drops a kind of soap-shaped laundry detergent into the washing machine [I think it was Salvo?] and as they leave her son says brightly, “We’re going to the zoo!” One of the women says grudgingly, “You know, she does all right.”

      • Mismarker

        Total agreement about the Don we saw in this episode. I was not expecting him to say anything to Megan about her agent’s phone call. He could have just as easily kept that to himself and watched her “career” implode, sending her back to NY. Also was not expecting him to agree to the partners’ terms at the end. Great episode!

        • Kathryn Sanderson

          Megan’s agent calling Don reminded me of Don calling Betty’s psychiatrist…in both cases, Don is talking about his wife behind her back, and it’s a paternalistic situation. But the crucial difference is that he told Megan up front that he’d talked to her agent.

          • Nancy Aronson

            excellent observation. too great an opportunity for Don to counsel himself in the form of advising Megan. It would have been a super big change if he’d said “WEll, you know, the reason I am on leave is . . .

      • Alloy Jane

        As uncomfortable as last night’s episode was, it’s the only one I can imagine watching repeatedly. I wouldn’t think of watching the opener again, so depressing. And I tried watching last week’s again but the humiliation was too much. This week was certainly dramatic but I can handle that much better than depression and humiliation. Plus, so much happened I feel like I need to watch it again to get a better handle on what’s happening.

        • MilaXX

          I am uncomfortable with now rude Peggy and Joan were last night. I’ll admit I am also a bit uncomfortable with how nasty & miserable Peggy appears to be this season so far, however things were unexpected and different enough that I want to see where the writers are going with this. I haven’t been this interested in the show in some time.

          • Alloy Jane

            I’m sure I sound like a broken record now, but I am so sad at who Peggy is turning into. Previously, they’ve written her as capable of so much more as a person, and to see her reduced to this bothers me to the point of burgeoning anger at the writers. I was hoping that she would at least remain civil to Don, not for his sake, but because she’s better than that. She didn’t have to be chummy, that would’ve been dishonest, but to unload such disdain without actual provocation was distasteful.

            • Jonathan Alpart

              Shitting on Don is just another pathetic attempt to heighten her own damaged sense of self-worth. It even sounded like she didn’t believe what she said to him.

            • MilaXX

              I understand why Peggy is pissed at Don. She left SCDP because Don treated her badly. She finds a place she likes & where she flourishes, then thanks to Don ends up back a the now SC & P where Don and Ted have a pissing contest over her. She’s now stuck at a place where she’s once again devalued, not to mention the failed love affair with Ted. Almost all of it is either directly or indirectly because of Don. In show time this has all happened over the course of a few months. The one thing she had going fir her is now an unpleasant place to be, she’s just be informed her current boss refused to nominate her for a Clio and in walks the embodiment of what went wrong.

              What I am hoping to see is Peggy get it together, get over Ted and either find a way to make Lou treat her right or move on. Right now she is miserable and unpleasant to be around .

    • Teresa

      This episode was exceptional, the drama so high I was on the edge of my recliner. It seems like Don is going through a 12 step program. Would have been so simple for him to take the other offer and move on. The scene where he’s looking at his wristwatch and they show him walking into the office was the best yet. And the Peter Pan collar on Joan’s flowery dress.

      • Chris

        Yes! I was so nerved up during this episode waiting to see what would happen with Don. I was exhausted by the end of it. All I could think of was how Mad Men is always criticized for “nothing happening”. Well this show can take something as mundane as a question of a rich guy getting hired back or not and make it more tension filled for me than countless episodes of shows where people are getting killed off, tortured, etc.

      • lbee

        For a while there I thought we were watching Don imagining what it was going to be like coming back while looking at his watch, like running through the entire experience in his head, only to decide against it and go on a bender or something. It was so tense!

        And agreed on the Peter Pan collar! Can’t wait to see what T&L make of that. And those kickass boots! Not coming off no matter whose office it is!

        • Kathryn Sanderson

          And the dress had roses on it. What’s that about?

    • RKCPhD

      I am convinced that Ted is going to figure very significantly in Don’s ascension in the firm. First, Ted knows what a big sacrifice Don made in giving him his spot in California so he could focus on his wife and family and he wont’ want him treated shabbily. Secondly, Ted loves advertising and recognizes Don’s natural talent. Once Ted wakes up and realizes how mediocre Lou is and how the firm is moving away from valuing quality creative, he will be instrumental in ensuring some changes are made.

      • 3hares

        Yes, it was telling that when Jim said “I speak for Ted” and Roger said “I speak for Pete” I thought only one of them was telling the truth. Pete absolutely would be on Roger’s side. Ted would probably prefer Don to Lou if he was in the mood to care.

        • Chris

          I’m starting to get really annoyed with Ted. I always liked him and have been sticking up for him but I’m sick of his poor me, spineless behavior. Pete was publicly humiliated at Chevy and at SC&P and he came out to CA and is his old ambitious self, working hard and trying to make that branch a success. Peggy keeps getting beaten down with Lou but she doesn’t stop trying. She still wants to produce excellent work even if she has to keep banging her head against Lou to do it. Ted has every advantage and he has just shut down, leaving NY out to dry creatively. He needs to get over himself and if he can’t start producing, at least back Peggy and/or Don.

          • Alice Teeple

            To be fair, this episode didn’t feature Ted at all, so we don’t know yet if he’s picked himself up or not. A couple of months have passed and his name was brought up in conjunction with a Clio win – several, actually – so to me that seemed optimistic for him. I have a feeling he’s going to feature prominently in Don’s situation.

            • Chris

              I thought it referred to the Clios he has won in years past. It looked like he had about three behind him in CA. That raised another question for me. Did Don only win that one Clio for the floor wax? It was always suggested that Don was a creative genius in the industry. Didn’t Ted say he was in Don’s rear view mirror in the article in the paper? Don was the big deal, but he only has that one Clio award?

          • ACKtually

            Aren’t we supposed to think that Ted is pining away for Peggy in NY? That he “did the right thing” by moving to CA, but he wants to be in NY. I thought it was interesting that Pete and Ted were both left out of the partners meeting- in that it further divides the LA office.

            • Chris

              Yes that’s my take on Ted’s situation as well. I just wish he would just get over his pity party. I really like Ted and think he will bounce back but Peggy has it far worse and hasn’t checked out. She’s still fighting (too much one could say) and she is on her own. I wish Ted would snap back to his old self and start caring again. Pete and Peggy have taken some hard knocks but they are still in the game.

      • MK03

        Yes, but will Ted wake up?

        • RKCPhD

          I am hoping he will make a trip back to NY, look around and recognize that the place is in a shambles (perhaps stemming from a conflict with Lou?) and start advocating for higher quality work. IF that happens, perhaps Peggy’s anger at him will be replaced a bit by professional respect because of all the flawed people in that office, Don, Ted and Peggy are the most committed to doing excellent work.

      • Alanna

        Weiner made a point of saying in several pre-S7 interviews that he intended Ted to essentially be “the anti-Don”: the faithful family man who is relentlessly upbeat and is nearly destroyed inside when he risks all that for Peggy. (I’m paraphrasing — Weiner was far more eloquent.) Now we have Ted apparently mired in deep depression during his Los Angeles exile, building model airplanes during meetings and telling Pete to just cash the checks. I know that the whole “anti-Don” thing was a huge focal point for S6, but I hope Weiner continues in that vein, even if Ted’s not as prominent as last season. Will he rise like Don is trying to do, or will the lingering remnants of his affair with Peggy continue to wreak havoc and mire him down?

        • Glammie

          Interesting. Don’s a mess, but also the quintessential survivor. Ted’s a decent guy who can’t seem to pull himself together after straying off the path once. He could use a little “This never happened” and compartmentalizing.

    • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

      I’m hoping Don can win Joan and Peggy back over, but I don’t blame either of them for being pissed at him right now (well, I don’t blame Joan, anyway; Peggy’s sniping at him is more about her own misery than him right now, as is all her sniping at everyone; I think Don getting back into the office is going to be the best thing for her, as otherwise it’s hard to see how she’d get out of the swamp of mediocrity).

      Hooray for Ginsberg for snatching Don back at the last second before slinking out of the office!

      Poor Megan. Her career may be doomed, but I don’t blame her for losing it with Don like that — he was incredibly condescending and patronizing about trying to tell her to handle rejection better, instead of asking her for her story of what happened. First, good for her for noticing the incongruities in his supposed work life; second, and this is the big one: good for her for telling Don that she wasn’t going to walk out of her own house — he had to leave. Yet she called herself his wife, later on the phone, so maybe there’s still hope for that relationship.

      I laughed and clapped my hands when Don said, “Okay” like that at the end. I’m so glad they’re contradicting the supposed theme that Don Draper never changes. He’s been HUMBLED, and it’s wonderful to see — for his own sake, too. Very curious to see how he both stays on good behavior and works with Lou.

      They did SUCH a good job with building the suspense in an understated way, with Don’s whole return to the office. Man, this is everything to him. And I’m so pleased that Roger got out of his LSD-haze to take action, especially against the threat of Jim Cutler.

      • ConnieBV

        I was cheering out loud for Roger, and at the end, when he was checking his watch, my palms were sweating. When this show gets it right, it really gets it right. You get sucked right in.

        • Vanessa

          Roger was very smart to unilaterally bring Don in–that partners’ meeting was never going to take place without Don sitting in the office waiting.

          • Eric Stott

            I think Roger also enjoys pissing off the other partners

            • Chris

              That’s part of it, also Cutler really stepped on his toes and threatened him in the elevator. Roger has a big ego and Cutler all but told him he was running the show and Roger better back off. Roger likes Don and he needs a strong ally in NY.

            • Aunt Tabby

              Indeed. This was Roger fire back to Cutler’s threat. Vanessa is right. A meeting would never have happened if Roger didn’t force the necessity stirring up the whole agency.

          • Aunt Tabby

            This!

          • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

            I also like it as a reaction to Jim’s elevator threat to him last week. Good for Roger for not letting himself be out-maneuvered.

          • greenwich_matron

            Roger does his most brilliant maneuvering right after he has lowered everyone’s expectations to the ground.

            • Glammie

              Funny character, isn’t he? More of a loose cannon than anyone else in his silver-spoon way. He let himself get finagled into hiring Don in the first place, but kind of didn’t care.

          • Fjasmine

            I love Roger, always have. He is a silver fox!

            • musicandmochi

              YES! I’ve always fancied Roger far more than Don. Roger can be an ass, but he’s a damn charming one at that. And cute, too ;)

      • Chris

        I disagree about Joan and Peggy. I think Peggy has more reason to be mad at Don. Anything that Joan thinks Don did to harm her was collateral damage. Nothing was ever aimed at Joan. In his own way he probably did think he was doing Joan a favor getting rid of Herb. He also showed more deference to Joan than he has any other woman in that office or almost anywhere. I can’t remember, even when she was just head of the secretaries, a time when he was rude to her or harmed her in any way. Peggy on the other hand, he has promoted with one hand and smacked down with the other for years. He has shouted at her, belittled her, thrown money in her face and cut her down any time he thought she was getting too uppity with him. Peggy’s commercial was her pride and joy. It was a way to attack Ted and her to destroy it. Her anger was as much about “the best work she would ever do” getting tarnished as it was about Ted, and the whole Clio business that day just opened the wound again.

        • AnotherJulie

          I agree. I was shocked when Joan turned on him. I totally get all the others’ motivation.
          But ultimately she was looking out for her own $$, which is also totally understandable.

          • Chris

            It shocked me last season when Joan did because I didn’t think she had much reason too but because of that I expected it this time. Even more so now that she considers Cutler her buddy she would want to side with him because Joan thinks he’s why she got the office.

            • Fjasmine

              I don’t think it was personal for Joan.

        • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

          “Anything that Joan thinks Don did to harm her was collateral damage. ”

          I don’t agree with that. As has been shown WAY too often, Don has hardcore issues with prostitution and it really bothered him that Joan went through with it. Worse, he couldn’t hide that feeling from her. His firing of Jaguar came about because of a bunch of reasons, but “saving” Joan was definitely one of them.

          • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

            Ironically, Joan is angrier at Don than any of the other partners who were all a part of that situation. It’s almost like her anger stemmed from his trying to save her from that situation. Then when he got rid of Jaguar, she was even more incensed. I was sort of disappointed in her behavior at that meeting. She has the right to be angry but I think she is angry at the wrong person.

            • lbee

              I don’t think she’s angry at him for trying to save her though – she’s angry because it means she suffered that humiliation in vain. Yes, she became a partner and ultimately that was good for her, but she couldn’t even point to the account to say that it was worth having everyone think she just slept her way to the top, because Don’s ego took that account away.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              I don’t know even after it happened and after he came over to try and stop…he still made a comment in one of their meetings something like maybe I’ll just leave and you can do what you want again. I think part of her is irrationally angry that he never just let it go after she made the decison to do it. It’s almost like his trying to save her made the experience worst somehow by calling more attention to it. I agree she is also mad about that he dumped the account too. I think for her she made the decision to take the hit and the partnership, but the way he acted made her feel like a victim as opposed to someone that made a choice.

          • Chris

            I don’t think Don has ever done anything with the intent of hurting Joan like he has with Peggy. If Herb didn’t actively annoy Don he wouldn’t have severed relations with Jaguar. I think he had many reasons for doing so and Joan may have been one of them but it wasn’t his primary reason. I think number one was his ego about winning the account with his pitch alone which of course ties into Joan’s actions. He was genuinely shocked Joan wasn’t happy Herb was gone. I don’t think even Joan thinks Don did it to deliberately hurt her. Don’s actions against others were deliberate and targeted. Joan getting mad about his actions dealing with Jaguar are certainly justified as well as her anger over his arrogance but Don never made himself Joan’s enemy. I never saw it as him wanting to take her down just him doing what he wanted and if others got hurt, then that’s the collateral damage.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              “Don’s actions against others were deliberate and targeted. ”

              We seem to be entirely at odds when it comes to how we view these characters, because I disagree with this pretty strongly as well. Don never set out to hurt Peggy. Or Betty, for that matter. Or Megan or Sally. But they all have good reason to be angry at him. Joan’s honestly no different on that front, although we’d argue she has the least to complain about.

            • Glammie

              Don’s impulsive. I’ve always seen his willingness to react to his gut both the core of his genius and the reason he’s always pissing people off. He plots and schemes after the initial impulse, but the initial impulse is just that–impulsive. Don’t forget, Joan and Pete were also going to take the company public, so Don got in the way of making Joan a rich, independent woman. I thought that was when she completely turned against him.

              Oops, you did note that. Never mind, I was agreeing with you anyway.

            • Alloy Jane

              I suppose that is quite true. Don hurts people because he doesn’t have real consideration for them, including Joan. He has always treated Joan with more regard and respect than he has any of those other women, and I think that’s why it’s surprising to us that she would be so unwelcoming towards him. But when you think about it, it’s very consistent human-wise. Joan is basing her reaction to Don on just her interaction with him, not relative to how her interaction measures up to that of others. What’s it to her how is is with other people? They had a relationship based on mutual respect and trust and he went over her head, not just as a partner, but as a friend, when he fired Herb. And for Don to be so presumptuous as to think that his indignance over Herb’s general grossness could trump hers must have been very insulting. And like @laura_renee:disqus said, Joan was working to go public when the company merged. Don is self-serving and generally unconcerned with the aftermath of his choices. Remember when he disappeared in California? Joan doesn’t trust him anymore.

            • Chris

              I guess we do see it differently because I can think of so many examples where Don’s aim was specifically to hurt Betty or Peggy or Ted etc. The whole aspirin debacle was aimed at hurting Ted and Peggy. The budget gave him an excuse but it was all about punishing them. Getting Ted drunk was aimed at him specifically. Tearing Betty down when she came out in a bikini was aimed at her specifically. Embarrassing Roger with the oysters was targeting him. Don decided in many of these cases someone was an enemy or had betrayed him and he went after them. In many other cases Don was just selfish and negligent and arrogant and hurt people. While Don’s actions may have hurt Joan or her interests she was never specifically a target of Don’s. At least not in my view.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              You’re bringing Ted into the conversation, but I never mentioned him. Yes, Don set out to hurt Ted. He did not, however, set out to hurt any of the women in his life, as I see it.

            • Chris

              We can agree to disagree. I do see his Don’s behavior at times as deliberately trying to hurt Peggy and Betty and you do not. Ted was added as an example of someone I felt he deliberately hurt after you mentioned Megan and Sally, who you feel he never deliberately hurt. I would argue the point about Megan but not Sally but why bother. We see this differently and there’s nothing wrong with that.

            • yesknopemaybe

              “Don never set out to hurt Peggy.”

              A significant portion of “The Quality of Mercy” is about Don setting out to hurt both Peggy and Ted in a petty childish sort of way. After the way Don treated her (not just Ted), he deserves a little bit of needling from Peggy. Compared to how he’s treated her in the past, her little barb was practically nothing.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              That was entirely about hurting Ted, who Don saw as a threat.

            • yesknopemaybe

              I disagree that it was entirely about hurting Ted. He was very conscious of his actions hurting Peggy as well. But part of the beauty of Mad Men is that motivations are not clearly defined for viewers, so I guess we can just disagree about that episode and his intentions. I will never stop contending that Don deserves every bit of shade thrown at him from the women in his life, especially after season 6, so I don’t feel the slightest bit of sympathy for him. It’s weird because so many viewers seem to have completely forgotten just how much of an asshat he’s been, especially last season.

            • Chris

              I agree. I think the barb was more than practically nothing, but Don and Peggy have engaged in open arguments before. Their last conversation was her calling him a monster. He had to know she was mad at him. I also think Ted AND Peggy were his targets in “The Quality of Mercy.”

            • yesknopemaybe

              Haha, I agree with you Chris. His resigned “thank you, Peggy” was kind of hilarious and definitely implies that he knew she was mad at him. I don’t think the barb was nothing, just in comparison to his previous actions. I do however think that her rudeness streak this season is maybe not the smartest idea in the world. If she pushes all her allies away, it leaves her in a more vulnerable position.

        • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

          Don’s actions don’t have to be aimed at Joan in order for her to be pissed at him. As TLo kindly reminded us, she was working hard to make the company go public when he impulsively, autocratically moved to merge it instead. The same with his decision to toss Jaguar away — one that Joan made a HUGE personal sacrifice for. Whether or not we think it was a good one is immaterial — she made that choice, and he made it worthless — again, without ever consulting her. Again as TLo said, she never wanted a knight to come rescue her, because she didn’t need to be rescued (we saw very much the same with the ugly sexual harassment story involving Joey, when Peggy fired him — Joan was not grateful for that). I can understand Joan just wanting some stability in the office.

          • AnotherJulie

            Excellent points, Laura Renee. Plus, obv the stability of the office= financial stability for her.

          • http://toongrrl.deviantart.com/ Toongrrl

            If I was Peggy:
            Peggy: “I’m a humorless bitch? Well you’re an Ungrateful Bitch, next time, you’ll drown”

          • Fjasmine

            Agree, I see Joan as totally focused on making a life for herself and Kevin. Don is unstable so the agency is threatened. Joan also knows that her 5% partnershp is enough to take care of her family and she can always cash in and leave. I saw Joan as being purely professional, I was proud of her!

          • Chris

            Of course the actions don’t have to be aimed at Joan for her to be mad, but my argument is when someone is targeting you personally it takes things to a whole other level.
            I disagree with the knight argument regarding Joey. Joan still needed someone else to fire Joey, she wasn’t going to do it, just manipulate it so someone else did it and make sure Joey knew how and why it happened. That’s different than her firing him herself or Peggy, as his boss firing him for his bad behavior toward Joan. I also disagree that Don made Joan’s choice to sleep with Herb worthless by dumping Jaguar. The worth to Joan was in the partnership which she retained. Don was arrogant and impulsive dumping Jaguar on his own but realistically they would have dumped it anyway for a shot at Chevy. The nature of their business requires dumping some clients to move up as they did with Mohawk etc. Clients that were life and death become expendable depending on the circumstances. We’ve seen it happen to Pete, Ted and Don’s hard work. Joan seems to have channeled her rage over her agreement with Pete and the partners to sleep with Herb at Don in many ways because he was the only one who looked at it as “bad”. No one bothered to tell Don about the secret plans to go public so it’s not like he was trying to sabotage that work. Part of the problem at that company is there are too many people working in secret.

        • greenwich_matron

          I really like Joan, but I am not sure why. She has always been grasping and selfish. I really don’t think it is out of character for her to see Don as a liability and decide to cut him out of the picture. She has always valued competence and power she sees Don as having neither.

          • Fjasmine

            Joan is a survivor and Don has jeapordized her security.

          • Chris

            I like and dislike most of the characters at different times. Or I should say I like and dislike their behavior. There are some I just plain dislike like Cutler and Lou. Pete angers and frustrates me but I always can end up sympathizing with him even after the worst behavior. Same with Don, I like to see him get consequences for his actions but then I get upset when I feel it’s too much or not fair. I cheer for Joan and I get annoyed with her. Ditto for Peggy. I want them to succeed, and be nice and have everything and like all the people on the show I like, but there would be very little tension or drama if that were the case. The problem with Mad Men at times (for me) is that sometimes a character needs a comeuppance for so long by the time they get it, it’s a 100 times worse than what I wanted and I get frustrated the other way. I guess it’s what keeps me glued to the TV every Sunday night.

      • siriuslover

        I’ve been rewatching Season One, specifically the episode where he’s being courted to a new agency. He and Roger have a talk and he tells Roger, it’s not about the money.

      • Lisa_Co

        As per Megan, I really didn’t see anything wrong with how Don talked to her about dealing with rejection. As a former dancer, I can say 90% of your life is rejection. If you can’t deal with it (and Megan stalking a director!) get out of the game. You have to learn it isn’t personal, and hopefully some day you’ll get a job.

    • Chris

      I thought the way everyone received Don back was a mini summation of their characters on the show. Ginsberg clearly knows Don is a genius and I’m sure he enjoyed getting his opinion and showing off a bit but I felt like 99% of what he did was pure mischief making. Ginsburg loves to stir up trouble and put people in uncomfortable situations and this was a doozy of an opportunity. Ken was the “old” Ken we know and love, proud of his child, delighted to see Don and fondly reminiscing about Don’s possibly greatest pitch- the carousel. One underling in creative (can’t remember his name) seemed to think he had risen in rank since Don’s leave and sounded like he thought Don and he were equals now and another treated Don to a litany of his in-law and money problems. Stan, despite Don stealing his L.A. idea, was friendly, and even kindly tried to cover for Lou’s rudeness by making up a fake “forgotten’ meeting. The most definite were Joan and Peggy who acted 100% according to their personalities. Joan behaved exactly as she always has when she feels threatened or has an enemy. She did her mean girl act, greeting Don with fake politeness and thinly veiled barbs. Then she ran to the nearest powerful man she has allied with (Bert) to use her powers of persuasion. Like the sandwich machine and every other issue in Joan’s life, she attacked Don obliquely with the partners using the word “we”. Joan on her own didn’t feel comfortable getting a better office for herself, but with her male allies she is ready to kick a founding partner and the creative genius to the curb despite being the smallest shareholder and the partner with the least voting power. Peggy’s attack was mean and nasty -like a slap to Don’s face. But in true Peggy fashion she owned it. Despite using the word “we” she looked Don in the eye and let him know it was coming directly from her. Despite the fact he could have soon been the head creative again and her boss, she fought him head on and “honestly” just as she has been doing with Lou. Peggy is all emotion and almost no cunning. Don returning, despite their problems, could only benefit her professionally as no one could be worse than Lou but Peggy is willing to shoot herself in the foot to get back at Don.

      • ConnieBV

        That’s some insightful comment on Joan, there.

      • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

        I don’t really like your characterization of Joan. Describing her going to Bert as “running to the nearest powerful man” — no, she’s going to the only other partner in the building (Roger and Jim aren’t even in the building yet) to ask, quite rightly, what the hell is going on with Don back in the building. She ought to have been consulted, like any of the partners, about him returning, and her actions were no different than what any other partner would have done.

        And “mean girl act,” “fake politeness and thinly veiled barbs” — all she’s doing is subtly signaling her disapproval, and that’s always Joan’s method of communication with men. She uses the conventional tools available to her — she can’t be all confrontational and aggressive the way men are, it never would have worked for her for her to succeed.

        • Chris

          That’s Joan’s style. We don’t know if a direct approach would work or not for her because she would never behave that way. Dawn, like Peggy, got mad at Lou and let him have it rather than trying to get some passive aggressive revenge. Personality wise, she is more like Peggy in some ways. Don is a “mean girl” too. He plots elaborate schemes rather than confront people head on. He used oysters, booze and a paid off elevator operator to humiliate Roger in front of clients and the office. He did something similar with Ted and Peggy. He pretended to “help” them with their commercial, smiled at them and used it to hurt them both. Joan would never tell Don directly she was mad at him or why she didn’t want him back. I don’t think she really believes Don is going to collapse the business if he comes back. She knows how talented he is and Roger and has completely and willfully blown clients before without causing the agency to fall. Joan is pretending she is concerned for the agency, but she is protecting her position. Its the same way she has always behaved. It’s in character for her.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            “Joan is pretending she is concerned for the agency, but she is protecting her position. ”

            That’s exactly true for every single person in that partnership meeting.

            • Chris

              Do you think that is true for Bert as well? He is the one person who always struck me as utterly convinced of his power. Or maybe that’s just my read on him. Everyone else I agree about.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              “I don’t like the way this agency is spoken of,” indicates to us that he feels his name is being besmirched. There’s a pride issue there.

            • Chris

              I agree about that. He has a lot of pride in having his name on the agency as does Roger. Cutler used that to his advantage when agreeing on the name. I meant secure in his position at SC&P and on the board. He is the only one that struck me as 100% confident in his power.

            • liberalteapot

              That’s all he is now though. he’s there in name only. it’s really cutler’s agency now.

          • AnotherJulie

            She is protecting her position at the agency because that is her financial security, for which she paid a huge price.

      • lauraq99

        I also loved how Ginsburg to seeing Don there – taking advantage of having a true creative person to share ideas with, instead of a bunch of uptight bean counters.

        • lbee

          “gosh you smell good!” – giggles! He is still Don’s biggest fanboy.

    • NMMagpie

      My jaw just dropped when Don went for that crap deal.

      I loved Shirley getting in there and being the “girl” that Lou said he did not want but needs, all the same.

      I also loved the “Peggy” with her box moving in the hallway while Don sat in the now not-so-creative war room.

      And I just about swooned when Stan helped Peggy stand before the meeting with Lou. Awesome gesture!

      • asympt

        I loved when Shirley pulled Lou away, being flattering to him but with a look in her eye that instantly informed me that Dawn had given her a quick call to do that–rescuing Don.

        • NMMagpie

          That’s what really got me about last night’s episode: subtext over subtext over subtext. I LOVED it.

    • AC Simons

      The story so far this season is pretty bleak, and most of the characters are just plain unlikeable. I hope they are starting at the bottom and going up from there. However, I remember the late 60s and early 70s as being a very unsettling time, so Mad Men’s depiction is pretty accurate. It’s a period I have very little nostalgia for, and maybe that colors how I’m watching the show right now.

    • AnotherJulie

      In an episode jam packed full of amazing moments, 2 things jumped out at me:
      1- After all his lies and bad behavior, Don deceivers all the backlash from everyone. But I was still shocked when Joan turned on him.
      2- How much of a self-absorbed immature twit is Betty? Poor, poor Bobby….

      • Lady Bug

        2). I so wanted to give Bobby a hug after Betty’s temper-tantrum! How long before Bobby needs to see a therapist?

        • Fjasmine

          I’ve always hoped for a return of Dr. Edna!

        • Alloy Jane

          At least he has Henry. Even without knowing what happened, Henry has sympathy for Bobby. That was nice to see.

          • Lady Bug

            Henry is a good stepdad. :)

    • Mismarker

      How old is Bobby supposed to be? As Sally gets older, Bobby seems to be Benjamin Button-ing.

      • Kate Andrews

        I’m guessing 12? He just hasn’t had his growth spurt yet.

      • Alice Teeple

        Not to mention Gene. Shouldn’t he be like, 7 or 8 now?

        • Mismarker

          : ) Gene was born in 1963. He’d be 5 or 6 now. I think what I’m responding to is the fact that Bobby #3 from 3 or 4 years ago looked older then than Bobby #4 does now. This actor just isn’t aging!

        • MK03

          Gene is pretty much a prop.

      • Aunt Tabby

        Sally is 14/15. Bobby is supposedly 12 this season. [b.1957] Gene, born in the spring of 1963, is about to turn 6. He’s a little too old to be sitting in a booster chair at the table and getting a baby bath.

        • Danielle

          Maybe Betty is trying to hold onto her baby by treating him like one.

          • Fjasmine

            I thought that also, Gene has been a baby for too long.

          • Mismarker

            Yep. I’m guilty of doing this with my 3.5 year old.

        • L’Anne

          One of my cousins didn’t get out of the booster seat until he was 8. He was slow to get tall. He’s also the baby. As we saw in season 5, Don occasionally forgot him (“Far Away Places”), and Betty may baby him. I think its also possible Gene is the least “tainted” in her eyes. She has her father’s name, he looks more like her (Bobby has Don’s coloring, and Sally looks like a combo of both but is picking up some of her father’s behaviors). Betty and Henry (not Don) are raising Gene.

        • MartyBellerMask

          Didn’t the nanny say she could chaperone the field trip and take Gene along? Gene should be in school by now, right? This age stuff doesn’t line up.

    • Chris

      I didn’t care for how Megan and Betty were written in this episode. Megan has been disappointed before with auditions, had a tough time and we have seen her drinking at home, but that whole scenario of her chasing down the director and acting crazy was just weird. All of a sudden the woman who held her own in advertising and the NY acting scene is flipping out and acting “hysterical”? (I did love how Don tried the same act he used to use on Betty- the whole “calm down crazy woman” routine and Megan was having NONE of it.)

      I also thought they could have come up with a much stronger reason for Betty to get mad over Bobby ‘ruining” their perfect day. A sandwich? Really? Betty rarely eats and Bobby would have noticed this. It would have made much more sense for Betty to get mad if he paid the teacher or a young girl more attention but I thought the sandwich was just bad writing. Once again it’s like the writers are just trying to make Betty pathologically selfish/borderline crazy. Isn’t just “really selfish” and kind of mean enough?

      • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

        Actually, “I didn’t know you were going to eat” is the exact kind of line that would set Betty off. And with her mindset, Bobby giving her sandwich away is a sign of how little thinks of her or cares about her. It does make sense.

        • Vanessa

          But it also shows how erratic her dieting has been. That line made me sad because I bet she has often not eaten when the rest of the family has meals. And of course it goes straight back to her childhood as a “fat” kid.

          • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

            Yeah — I took note too of her “Of course” when Francine asked if she wanted to split coffee cake.

            • P M

              I had to wonder how much of that coffee cake Betty actually ate. It really surprised me that she said ‘of course’.

            • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

              Well, part of keeping up appearances is pretending not to care about what you eat.

        • siriuslover

          If she were a better mother, she might realize that a young kid with only stale gumdrops for a lunch might actually be a child who needs food. But all she did was make Bobby eat something he didn’t want to push home her point about how he ruined everything. Besides, knowing Betty, maybe she wasn’t going to eat. Poor kid, he can’t win for anything.

          • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

            At least she didn’t let Bobby get the sandwich back — the girl got to have a lunch after all.

        • Alice Teeple

          I don’t think it’s that. He was very considerate of her having her spot on the picnic blanket. I think if anything, Bobby cares a lot about other people – the sandwich was given to a little girl who didn’t have a sandwich. I think poor Bobby has the misfortune of being an empathetic person with two sociopaths for parents. I feel like Henry has been a good, decent influence on him. I think Betty’s mindset might interpret that that way, but I also think she’s resentful of having what little power she had over her kids getting stripped away.

          • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

            I wasn’t judging Bobby’s actions at all — I agree with you completely that he’s a sweet, generous kid who adores his parents, it’s the highlight of his year whenever they spend time with him (think of that morning at camp when he got Don and Betty to sing with him). It’s a shame that Betty can’t see that at all. But she’s never been fond of him (thinking of lines like that totally unconcerned “Bobby’s turning blue out there [in the cold]” to Clara, and the fantastically awful “Go bang your head against the wall, only boring people are bored”).

            It does seem like Harry is a sweet step-father, which is a relief.

        • Jo Bleaux

          The way I read it was that she felt he threw her over for a cute girl, just like his father.

          • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

            Ooooh, that’s even pettier/more immature on her part.

          • Mismarker

            I love this so much. Only Betty would be jealous of a 12 year old girl.

          • Kathy G

            I just thought she was really hungry and being really hungry can make a person an irrational bitch.

        • P M

          I saw that whole meltdown as ‘Eating Disorder’ Betty, in a way. Like, she really only has control over her body – regardless of whether she chooses to eat or not – and Bobby took that decision away from her. To me, the whole scene *was* about food as a controlling behaviour.
          (In makes me wonder: what kind of messages are being passed to Sally at school by the teachers and her peers?)

      • 3hares

        Megan’s never particularly held her own in advertising and the NY acting scene. In advertising she did well, but that was because she was succeeding. In acting she’d already quit the business when we met her. I totally believe that Megan has trouble dealing with rejection.

        • Chris

          She got rejected plenty in NY but never acted like a crazy person or a baby, crying and chasing directors down.

          • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

            We saw her have a meltdown in the apartment, though, before Don finally used a connection to get her that commercial which set off what’s been her acting career so far.

            • Chris

              Well we saw her get drunk and Don’s acted as bad if not worse many times when he’s drinking. We’ve never seen her act “hysterical” stone sober and in public. She’s always been more mature in a way than Don is, able to deal with daily problems, stress and the kids better anyway.

            • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

              I agree, and that made me wonder if her agent’s story was even accurate. I wish Don had had the decency to ask her what had happened, to hear her side before jumping in with the lecture. But that goes back to the source of his relationship issues with women — how he always ends up treating them so condescendingly.

            • 3hares

              But what purpose could the agent have for making up a story like that?

            • Miss Disco

              i wouldn’t say making it up but dramatising it perhaps.

            • 3hares

              Oh yeah, that’s definitely a possibility. But he was probably getting that from the people who told him the story, which is why he said it wasn’t a good idea to have an anecdote like that out there. Calling her husband to sort it out was incredibly obnoxious, though. He should have spoken to Megan–she might have given him a less humiliating version of events, and they could talk about whether it was a good idea or not.

            • Aunt Tabby

              Well, Agent guy tried to talk to her but she hung up on him. I think in this case “hysterical” is in the eye of the beholder. In 1969 woman had a different status and were expected to behave like docile and passive objects. Megan went rogue [like Don] in trying to get another opportunity with this producer. Agent Guy, Don, and Producer may have regarded Megan’s aggressive behavior as “hysterical”, as in unbecoming of a woman.

            • 3hares

              True but I think he was also right. Whether or not Megan was hysterical about it, going back to try to get a do-over for an audition and then showing up in the guy’s personal life could easily get her a bad rep even if she was a man. It wasn’t an effective kind of aggression.

            • Carrie

              Was anyone else reminded of the way Betty’s therapist used to tell Don over the phone that his wife was nervous and hysterical?

            • mad girl

              Yes! And each time Don was there behind the scenes, conspiring with yet another man his wife thought she could trust…all of them completely unprofessional and condescending. Thank goodness these men just want what’s best for Megan and Betty. Ugh.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              Yep, I sure was! But at least Don told Megan pretty much right away that her agent had called her.

            • Lisa_Co

              I really don’t see this as being about Megan being a woman, just a professional actor. If a man did the same thing (stalked a director) I think he’d be called out on it as well.

            • kimberly

              He said he called her husband because she doesn’t have a manager and Don is the closest thing she has to one.

            • 3hares

              Which is of course not true at all. Don isn’t anything close to a manager for her.

              Though at the same time, I can imagine the guy calling the wife if Megan was a man. He wants to speak to somebody he thinks she’ll listen to about her behavior. So I don’t think it’s just sexist. The guy actually is trying to help her get work.

            • Fjasmine

              He did try to talk to her.

            • 3hares

              I’d forgotten that–given that she wouldn’t listen, calling Don made sense.

            • DeniseSchipani

              from the agent’s perspective it almost doesn’t matter what Megan’s side of the story is. If an over-dramatized version of what happened is out there, he knows from experience in Hollywood that the story is everything, and as it gets around it’s only going to get more exaggerated and worse. It’s not his job to make Megan feel better or get to the bottom of what really happened; his job is damage control and from his position, calling Don (since Megan has no manager to call) was his best option.

            • Chris

              Maybe it got exaggerated in the retelling? He wasn’t there so he had to have gotten the story secondhand.

            • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

              Maybe it was exaggerated to him by someone with a rivalry.

          • 3hares

            She got rejected and got pretty despondent about it. This is the first time we’ve seen her in the position she’s in now, where she’s been on her own for months and she’s older and she’s starting to panic. Since they’ve established that Megan does struggle with confidence it didn’t seem impossible to me that it would take a new turn like this. She’s a girl who’s used to being good at everything, but acting jobs are the thing that doesn’t come easy for her. So that’s the thing that makes her act crazy or in ways she doesn’t act about other things.

          • Miss Disco

            didn’t her father call her out though for skipping the struggle? I get the sense that Megan had a very good and easy childhood and had never really been rejected before acting, which she ran away from with Don, and then back to from Don, only to find herself rejected from both.

            • L’Anne

              I think the “you skipped the struggle” is very much related to her father’s Marxism because he put it together with the “unearned wealth” she now had at her disposal– wealth that wasn’t really hers or earned by her. She even chided him for saying that because Don is good at his job. For Emile, Megan gave up her dreams to marry and work alongside Don, and the marriage has given her wealth that she never had to work for. This adds another layer to Don’s perceptions of women as whores. In classical Marxism, the middle class view of marriage– that women were not supposed to work outside the home and instead were financially dependent on husbands– made marriage into state and religiously sanctioned prostitution, with wives earning their keep by maintaining the house and on their backs.

      • marlie

        I thought the whole point of Betty getting angry about the sandwich was precisely because she gets irrationally angry sometimes. Also, she has a staggering lack of self-awareness in which she would find it difficult – if not impossible – to see how she appears in the eyes of her children.

        • Chris

          I agree that’s the point, but as in seasons past, it’s like the writers just want to make Betty completely horrible and irrational.

      • AnotherJulie

        I think that’s why they did it. Betty is irrational, immature, emotional and self absorbed. In her mind Bobby should be able to read her mind about when/if she choose to eat.

      • Miss Disco

        I wondered what being ‘hysterical’ meant exactly too – that could be called ‘ambitious’ if you were a man (presumably stalking down chevy at airports isn’t hysterical, or desperately going over heinz.) I’d be pissed if I were Megan too. Your agent calling your husband to come and sort you out? Fuck that guy.

        • Chris

          It just sounded like a 19th century throwback term. Like something out of “The Yellow Wallpaper”. Oh no! Female hysteria! It just really rubbed me the wrong way.

          • Miss Disco

            i’ve heard it used. It wouldn’t surprise me than some agent who probably is trying to be fancy sounding would use it (that guy just screams pretence – I’d not be surprised if he was a failed actor)

            • P M

              Hey, if you can’t act….

          • sweetlilvoice

            The Yellow Wallpaper….I loved that story and only on this blog would someone mention it. Bitter Kittens are the best!

        • Alice Teeple

          Yeah, that’s a great point! Remember Ted stalking Pete at the hospital with a silver spoon from Tiffany’s? That was a thousand times crazier than “bumping into her casting agent and Rod Serling.” (Although I could totally see Megan on “Night Gallery.” That show was terrible.)

          • 3hares

            It really wasn’t, though. Ted was coming to Pete from a position of power making him an offer. Megan is one of dozens of actresses who didn’t make a great impression with her acting but is now making the wrong kind of name for herself personally. Megan would be making these people uncomfortable in ways Ted never made Pete uncomfortable, because she’s reeking of desperation and Ted was not.

            • Alice Teeple

              You wouldn’t be creeped out if some man randomly showed up at the hospital while your wife was having a baby to give you a spoon “just like David Ogilvy?” At the time I didn’t read “position of power,” I read “so desperate to grab someone from a rival agency that they’d show up at a really inappropriate and vulnerable time.” CGC was floundering, desperate to win the Honda spot. Remember Ted’s freakout about the fake commercial intel that Don had planted? We didn’t know anything about CGC at the time, and Pete declined the offer to work there because it smacked of desperation. (Back to Ogilvy, I think it’s interesting that he keeps getting name dropped throughout the show. And this week it was Mary Wells, another advertising superstar.)

            • Cheryl

              Hah, because I’ve been close to the music business not advertising, I thought of Mary (My Guy) Wells. Your interpretation makes much more sense!

            • 3hares

              But Pete knew who the guy was and what he was doing there, and he rejected the offer and they moved on. Making a move on someone in an inappropriate place isn’t unusual for this business. Megan’s an actress auditioning with hundreds of others, and not taking no for an answer in a way that nobody would want to deal with. If you get a reputation as the person who can’t accept the rejection that’s 80% of your job, that’s bad.

              Basically, this isn’t like Ted showing up to woo Pete. It’s more like if Pete was rejected for an account and they went to another agency and rather than wait until the client might be ready to try someone knew Pete just kept showing up begging the guy not to reject him. Megan’s being more tone deaf than Ted.

        • Fjasmine

          Don has always treated women that way, he did it to Betty also.

      • Alice Teeple

        Bobby did notice that Betty never eats! It was really subtle – he said “I wasn’t sure if you were going to eat” or something along those lines. Like Stan’s line “This has nothing to do with coffee,” that scene really had nothing to do with the sandwich. I think Bobby’s (correct) assumption that Betty wouldn’t eat her sandwich and might as well give it to a little girl who didn’t have a sandwich was a noble one – almost a mini-Don move. It made her feel guilty, so she turned the situation into something much bigger: realizing her son has some power over her, making decisions for her.

        • P M

          It seemed like what a kid might do, like get carried away and make the wrong decision, despite knowing his mother.

          Though, really, with Betty, it would have been hard to predict what might have made her happy to begin with. Poor Bobby.

        • teddy partridge

          Not eating dinner (“I was hungry but I’m not now”) so that the entire episode could be grotesquely on display for Henry that night was really cruel and selfish, though. And reminded me of things me own mum would do! Nobody ever needs to say “Wait until Henry gets home!” to Betty’s kids: everyone knows Betty will drag out the drama so it’s at full boil no matter what time he walks in the door, poor guy.

        • MartyBellerMask

          Ooh, that just reminded me of the episode in season 1, where Don invites Roger for dinner, and Betty gives up her steak so Roger can eat. She plays it off but she is PISSED. Instead of seeing Bobby as compassionate (Henry’s influence), she sees him as an inconsiderate mini-Don.

          • Alice Teeple

            That’s right! I completely forgot about that incident. This is an interesting mirror to it, and shows just how petty she has gotten.

      • L’Anne

        I’m not defending Betty, but if I had swapped my mother’s sandwich on a field trip, I would’ve been in trouble too. I likely would have gotten a lecture about how I was rude and selfish, thinking only about getting some candies. If I had any of my sandwich left, my mother would have taken it. It looks like he’d already eaten his sandwich, and I probably would have gotten a lecture about how that was rude also, and I should wait for my elders to start eating. And I probably would have been told to eat all those ill-gotten candies even if they made me feel ill.

        I think Betty was just as damaged by her parents as Don was by his. Her mother used to basically abandon her at the store so she’d walk home to lose weight. It seems her family only ever believed she could or should be a wife and mother. Her mother ridiculed her and called her a whore when she became a model, yet told her worth was in her beauty and she “earned her keep” by getting male attention. I’m not sure Betty knows how to give love because it doesn’t seem like she’s really gotten much. She was damaged before she even met Don, and he certainly didn’t help.

        I keep remembering some of the scenes from season 1, like the night Don is out with Midge and her friends at the performance bar, and she’s home, playing dress up with Sally. Or Don disappearing from Sally’s birthday party. Or running off for almost a month in season 2. Its almost as if they have to make everyone else look worse and less sympathetic to make Don look better and more sympathetic than he really is.

        • Shug

          As awful as Betty can be, I still do feel a bit sorry for her. The brief time she was successful on her own, as a highly educated, bilingual international model, she cut short to be a mother and wife. Neither of those roles really worked out for her. (Although Henry is obviously a really nice, patient guy.)

          • Chris

            I feel bad for Betty too. I also feel the writers make her so petty and mean. Far more than is necessary to make the point. They always give Don something that makes him sympathetic no matter how low he goes.

            • Alloy Jane

              I partially disagree with that sentiment. I didn’t bat an eye at Betty’s behavior with Bobby because there are/were plenty of women who behave that way with their children. That some of the commenters here can completely identify with Bobby speaks to that. But it does annoy me to no end that Don is written as a shitbag with a gold streak. I didn’t start watching this show til the Megan season and I wondered why Don was supposed to be a negative character. And then I watched the first season and wondered why there was any admiration out there for Don Draper that went beyond his professional abilities. If they can powder that turd, you’d think the writers would throw Betty a shred of dignity to grow on.

            • Chris

              Yes, I agree that Betty should get the gold streak too.

        • P M

          The entire show is full of kids who have been victimized and abused in one way or another – it’s sad – depressing, actually.

          • asympt

            And Betty is one of them. Her narcissistic/borderline personality disorder is fully earned, with the way her own parents raised her.

            Anyone who’s lived with a parent like that can’t think the writers overdo it. That’s how she’d feel, that’s how she’d act. I’m glad Bobby at least has an empathic stepfather. That might help him break the cycle.

        • sweetlilvoice

          Betty and Don are two very damaged people who never should have had children. They are both equally screwed up. At least Betty has Henry. He seems to genuinely love her.

        • Mismarker

          Thank you for this. I knew Betty didn’t have the best childhood but I couldn’t remember any particulars.

          When you know better, you do better. This shouldn’t entirely excuse her actions but, really, Betty doesn’t know better.

        • Kathy G

          You know, it would have been the same with my mother. I have a great mother but she would have been pissed if I did that without consulting her first. She would have likely eaten some food at home and gone to lay down expressing need for total quiet d/t her hunger headache though. My stepfather would have smacked me in the head and called me an idiot or stupid. I think these scenes with Betty and her children are kind of over analyzed or overblown. Mothers and their children participate often in mutually abusive behaviors all the time. We just don’t see them on tv exclusive to the counterpart of the loving and very generous self sacrificing acts that also happen. Mothers are judged more harshly than fathers and almost anyone else.

          • L’Anne

            I went back and watched that sequence a few times. Bobby is unpacking their bag and Betty goes to wash her hands/ bathroom/ vomit/ whatever. He unpacks a sandwich, a banana, before the cut to commercial or scene change. Betty returns and the only food that remains is the gumdrops. That means that he swapped out her lunch and ate everrything else. He watches Betty pick up the bag, filter through it, and says nothing. Betty: “where’s my sandwich?” Bobby: “what do you mean?” (Increasingly terse discussion about the missing sandwich.)

            The more I thought about it, why didn’t he just say as she sat down, “Mom, don’t get upset but (kid) forgot her sandwich so I swapped for her gum drops.” Instead he waited for her to say something and then acted as if he was completely clueless to the situation before admitting the swap. I agree Betty handled it poorly and was too relentless in her anger/ disappointment.

            I’m wondering more now if this isn’t a call back to references to Bobby lying in earlier seasons: the traced picture and lying about it, breaking the record player and lying, and pulling the wallpaper, and “I didn’t do anything!” Is this another example of how the children are turning into their father?

      • MK03

        What everyone seems to be missing is Megan’s manipulation here. Does anyone really believe it was an “accident” that she went to go cry to the director and Rod Serling just so happened to be there too? That was calculated. She was totally playing the wounded gazelle.

        • asympt

          I see no reason not to believe it was an accident.

          • 3hares

            The whole point of the call was that it was probably not an accident. Even if it was, the director didn’t think so.

      • Susan Velazquez

        If Megan was man, tracking down the director would have been an act of gumption and she would have been seen as someone not willing to take no for an answer. Plus, it could be a funny story down the line, not the end of the world as the agent seemed to think

        • 3hares

          If Megan were a man and still an actor who’d been adequate at an audition and wanted another chance it still would have been seen as nuts.

      • Fjasmine

        I think the combination of her insecurities and Don’s money has been damaging for Megan. She got her first real job working on the commerical because of Don. She has been able to go on auditions and live in a cool house and drive a cool car without needing to waitress or do anything menial. It seems like she has gotten accustomed to having whatever she wants and being just another girl in LA is too much for her.

      • greenwich_matron

        I agree. Even if Megan had acted desperately, it was a mistake, not evidence of insanity. Nobody ever got reconsidered for a callback because she behaved very, very professionally.

        Betty was ridiculous, too. Kids do plenty of irritating things that can really ruin your day, but they showed Bobby being ever so perfect and Betty acting crazy about it several hours later.

      • teddy partridge

        We only have Megan’s agent’s word — man-to-man, on the phone to Don — for how Megan behaved, based on what the director told her agent. Megan may view the entire episode very differently. Hell, the entire episode may actually be very different than the third-hand version we have. That would certainly explain some of her upset at Don: “You took other people’s word for how I behaved without even asking me what happened?”

        • 3hares

          I think that’s unlikely only because her agent was speaking to her because the director spoke to him. So even if Megan saw her behavior different, he should have talked to him about it, not hung up. So the problem isn’t whether it’s being exaggerated or not, it’s that whatever she really did is a problem because the guy could exaggerate it at all.

    • http://www.ellenciompi.com/ NurseEllen

      Best moment of the show for me was when Francine called Betty, “Betty Draper”. WHOA! Is this foreshadowing? I also loved it when Betty was talking about “Rocky”; took me a minute to realize she was referencing Nelson Rockefeller, then governor of NY. Every time Francine said something about being fulfilled as a travel agent, Betty tried to one-up her with a reference to power or status that was basically given to her by her long-suffering current husband. And PS, it didn’t work. Francine looked positively thrilled about the constantly ringing phones, the noise, and the small dimensions of her office; Betty couldn’t rustle up enthusiasm for anything at all in her life. And then she went home and took it out on “the girl” in the uniform who is doing the actual work of raising her kids. Nice.

      • Not applicable

        yea- that scene was wild… MW has said it many times- people don’t change. Betty is a mean girl.

        • P M

          Correction: she’s a mean glacier princess.

      • Cheryl

        Yeah, I noticed the ‘Betty Draper’ comment too. That was some lunch, Betty as nasty as always, with that thin veneer of politeness.

      • P M

        I thought there was a not-so-subtle attempt there to try and demean Francine because of the possibility that she’s *had* to go and work. My take on it is that Carlton’s career hasn’t been great, the household financial situation required Francine to work, and she’s found out to her surprise that she actually enjoys it. Which is a satisfaction that even Princess Betty can’t take away.

        Either way, the costuming speaks volumes in that scene. Betty: ice blue, subtly demeaning, spanking new clothes, chic. Francine: warm, a bit opportunistic (she wasn’t above asking Betty to split dessert), working clothes that look a bit dowdy to my eyes, something a bit worn about her clothes.

        • mad girl

          Yes I definitely get that Francine had to work also. She makes a point of saying that Carlton wanted her to let go of the “help” too.

      • Fjasmine

        I’m one of the many people who has been hoping to see Francine so that was great. I always loved their relationship, Francine sees through Betty and likes her anyway. We also did see Betty being a good friend to Francine way back when, one of the things that always gave me hope. I think Francine is the best relationship Betty has.

      • oat327

        I took “Betty Draper” as a gently-mocking response to Betty claiming she was so traditional–she divorced her husband, so she’s clearly not. And I think Betty’s smile was fondly remembering that one time she went after what she wanted. As competitive as they seemed (especially Betty), I didn’t think it was too mean-spirited; to me it read more as a sibling rivalry, like Roger’s exchange with Don.

      • P M

        Getting out of the house also gets Francine away from Carlton – it’s a distraction from any problems at home.

        Side note: Why Francine still stays in touch with Betty is beyond me.

        • snarkykitten

          everyone needs that one friend they keep around to feel better about themselves. I think that’s why they both keep each other around, but Betty doesn’t know she’s lost that one.

    • MondaysChild76

      Surely I’m not the only one who recognized Anna’s niece, Stephanie, when she approached Don in the restaurant. I’m not sure what to make of her brief appearance. I wish Don had gone to her room. Would love to know what her character has been doing for the last few years.

      • Mismarker

        Whoa. I did not make that connection at all. How sad that Don did not recognize her. Or that she didn’t prompt him with anymore information about who she was.

      • http://angrynerdgirl.net/ Jessi03

        I completely missed that. I thought she was someone Roger had hired to get Don to go upstairs. I must have completely misunderstood that scene with Don and Roger!

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        That wasn’t her. We thought it was at first, but it’s a different actress.

        • MondaysChild76

          The resemblance is uncanny. Just like with the actress playing Bonnie & how much she looks like Brittany Snow.

          • Mismarker

            Jessy Schram has changed a lot since I last saw her on Veronica Mars! For a minute, I thought it was Brittany Snow, too!

        • Fjasmine

          I thought for a moment it was Bethany Van Nuys.

          • MavisJarvis

            I thought it might be Chloe Sevigny.

      • JMWilder

        Oh, wow! I think you’re right! That was a strange little cameo.

      • http://www.what-the-frock.com Dana F.

        I just replied but my comment contained IMDB links, which I guess aren’t auto-approved.

        Anyway, that wasn’t Stephanie. Stephanie was played by Caity Lotz and this girl last night was played by Brandi Burkhardt.

      • Laylalola

        Christ, I thought she was someone Don had hired to come up to the table just so he could make that quip to the men courting him about them not needing to go that far.

      • Not applicable

        I doubt MW would do that– doesn’t seem like his style.

        • Jo Bleaux

          Although it would be totally in keeping to find an actress that would remind him of Anna’s niece to add to her appeal.

      • Alice Teeple

        I think you are! Different girl. :)

    • AnotherJulie

      I love how the writers give the children all the really poignant and important scenes/ lines – and love that they hit them out of the park every time:
      Bobby: “I wish it was yesterday”
      Sally: Every scene and line that they have ever given her

      • P M

        My heart just broke for that kid. He tries so hard, and gets an iceberg in return. I wonder when he’ll finally see her for what she is and what the outcome will be.

        It’s interesting: there’s a blog I follow (on hiatus now, sadly) where the author and her brother had a mum from hell and who occasionally talks about the fallout from such a childhood. The author’s brother was vocal about his anger and disappointment with his mother; the author kept her feelings to herself.

        It’s a good blog actually: it’s called ‘after plumcake’.

    • Not applicable

      It’s a testament to the show’s amazing writing that I hated last night’s episode so much. Ugh- I felt like it was happening to me– the squirmy feeling of when you’re in trouble- when you have to eat what you’re served.

      Surely, Don is a sympathetic hero. Despite all his transgressions (and WOW have there been a lot) we cheer for the abused, abandoned little boy who obviously still feel so worthless and afraid. We want to believe his true heart when he’s doing the right thing like being honest with his daughter or loving to Megan is the real deal. That he can be that person. I suppose we all hope we can be the best version of ourselves.

      I hated that he said OK. I don’t know if he has a plan or if he is truly confident that the sad work they’ve been turning out will stand on it’s own– that logic will prevail. I agree with TLo that he was SMART to agree to the ‘vetting’ of each pitch because that means he’s not to blame if he’s watered down or if the client doesn’t buy… it will be shared fault. Right now, nobody’s taking any risks or any credit because the work is THAT poor. But the willingness to give up the shares was a dumb move.

      I have to say- I’m a total feminist but Peggy and Joan really pissed me off last night. Again- this is a TV SHOW and I’m angry with them like I know them!?! Bravo, MW– you are a master.

    • AnotherJulie

      T and L, probably a silly question, but can you pls clarify the scene with the blonde at the bar, then Roger in the hotel room? Was the blonde just inserted randomly to throw us off, or a plant by Roger?

      • Kate Andrews

        I know! And she looked like all the other blondes too. Very odd.

        • sweetlilvoice

          She looked so much like Anna’s niece, I was shocked. I really thought that’s who she was.

        • P M

          It’s the Attack of the Blonde Doppelgangers!

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        It was an editing fakeout. You were meant to think he was knocking on her door but instead he chose to go to Roger’s place. Roger was clearly not expecting him.

        As for what she means, you can either choose to think that the guys from the other agency were lying and they did, in fact, hire her to make the offer, or you can think (and this strikes us as a very Matthew Weiner kind of thing) that Don was giving off good mojo because he’s trying to get his life back together and she was a stranger who found him irresistible.

        • Chris

          I also thought it was a way to help provide more encouragement to Don to seek out Roger. The other agency and a random beautiful blonde want me, SC&P should too.

        • hellkell

          Doesn’t Roger live at that hotel? I was thinking that’s why he suggested dinner at The Algonquin.

          • Susan Collier

            Don is finally thinking two moves ahead (again).

        • AnotherJulie

          Now it makes sense. Roger lives there, Don knew he would get be getting a job offer from the other agency, and then went to Roger’s room.
          Thank you

        • SportifLateBoomer

          A couple of places on the interwebs, maybe here in this thread too, have said that the blonde was somehow Anna Draper’s niece, from an earlier episode … any credence to that theory? It seems way out of left field.

          • sweetlilvoice

            A dead ringer definitely.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            Different actress, different character name.

            • SportifLateBoomer

              Thanks! Took a quick look but couldn’t find online. And it seemed far fetched. There’s enough subtlety going on as it is.

        • Anne Meek White

          I initially thought she was the flight attendant from his earlier flight. She was really digging his chili. :)

        • http://magnetgirl.tumblr.com Anika

          I think it’s the second because Meredith was salivating over him, too.

        • Alice Teeple

          At first I thought that lady was that stewardess on the plane who was making the move on him – but it was another blonde. I think your second theory is probably right. They’re like the cute blonde demons of a Hieronymous Bosch painting, trying to drag Don back into the circles of hell.

          • Aunt Tabby

            Blonde Hell Demons stalking Don Draper LOL! This was a weird scene. Really, WHAT woman would approach a table of 3 men at the Algonquin and come on to one of them? She must have been “hysterical” like Megan in Hollywood at Rod Sterling’s table.

            • NDC_IPCentral

              It blared “set-up” by the other-agency-dinner companions using a “working girl” to play on the Draper libido to me.

            • decormaven

              Yep, stoke his ego and get him to sign the dotted line.

        • Fjasmine

          I just don’t believe in the constant attractive young blondes approaching Don. Especially in the 60s.

        • Kathy G

          Don knows Roger lives at that hotel. That is why he set the meeting up there. I think part of him was counting on Roger seeing him from the bar. But since he was not there he had planned from the outset to bring his offer to him so just went to his room. The Hello Sailor Blonde is just more Draper bait to show he is focused on getting back to work (working on his marriage… at least his marriage to SCD&P– (not so willing to move out to LA and work on his marriage to Megan– or maybe he knows she will come back to NY since LA is not her mien.)

    • Bill Curtis

      Harry Crane.

      • Teresa

        He’s the one who will come out successful in all this.

    • Chris

      Did anyone else roll their eyes when Cutler was trying to say he was going after Don because of “what he did to Ted”? It would make me like Cutler a lot more if I felt he did care about anyone else, but he was the guy who didn’t seem to care when Frank Gleason was dying so I can’t imagine he’s crying over Ted’s hurt feelings. Also, what exactly does Cutler think Don did to Ted? Lie about the Aspirin pitch? Or something else? Or just their rivalry last season?

      • Not applicable

        yea- that was rich. That guy is a snake. Note he had to take down Harry Crane for being dishonest?! Takes one to know one.

        • Chris

          I was waiting for a lightning bolt to come through the window and hit Cutler. He has no shame.

          • Not applicable

            he’s so awful- but it’s brilliant. We’ve grown too comfortable with the SCDP people- they are like family. There are a lot of schmucks and jerks in the real world… especially in this era. And this was truly a man’s world. Why else would a lame-o like Lou have any success? So- while this is awful to witness, it’s apt. It’s real.

            • Chris

              I think the biggest shock to me is how they introduced Lou as this mediocre guy. Because so much of the show revolved around the creative end, competing with Ted Chaough and CGC plus against the big guys at other agencies. Don always seemed to have these worthy rivals. Ted was wily and creative and the other agencies had the flash and the big bucks and everyone knew Don was a star. Now you have this hack in Don’s job (in an agency where Ted is another partner) just going through the motions. The idea that Don could be defeated by the mediocre and not a brilliant young “up and comer”, a seasoned rival or huge agency full of money and power is almost mind boggling.

            • Not applicable

              Yes- but by this time advertising agencies were starting to flatten out a bit. The 60s was an era of big brand characters & jingles: Tony the Tiger, Charlie Tuna, The Green Giant. By the late 60s TV had less of that ‘wow’ factor for consumers and as such, they started to get more accustomed and even jaded about advertising. Lou on scene shows that once an agency is large enough to gain the big clients, you can manage to that status quo because not all advertising is going to be stand out…It can’t/won’t be. This is why Harry Crane’s position is actually important because at this time, the available media to buy (on air at least) is still a limited resource.

              So, Lou is just a status quo guy. There to be a manager, reign in costs. He’s not concerned about hurting feelings or even being impressive. What a creative guy who’s not all about his own ego & winning awards? Yes, he’s about his ego like other executives (ie: the way he treated Dawn) but he’s not yearning to be the center of attention. He doesn’t care enough to kill a budget for a good idea.

              To an agency where an account guy (Jim) is essentially in charge this is what you’d want. Remember back when Duck said that creative is just the window dressing? There were a whole school of advertising execs who felt the creative part of advertising was just that- a covering to a media buy. There was a split among advertisers who were not like the big creative minds like Ogilvy and Leo Burnett and instead felt that you shouldn’t change any branding campaigns once they were set (like ever.) The thought was that you only lose money on creative– man hour costs to create a new campaign etc.

              So, I totally get what you mean b/c the beginning of MM set us up to feel like it was all about the young guys nipping at their heels- but really this is pretty accurate on what was happening in the industry. It’s pretty important that SC&P right itself or it will fall way behind the big shops who will could eventually drive them under.

              ps: I teach integrated marketing & social media sorry for the lesson- it’s welcome break from grading finals. :)

            • Aunt Tabby

              Thank you. Very interesting to know the context!

            • P M

              The lesson is appreciated! As someone who studied accounting, I noticed how much Lou paid attention to even small things that cost – like pointing out how Stand bringing out mock- up drawings (sorry, I don’t know advertising jargon) was going to cost. Let it go, Lou! (Stan I thought looked irritated by that)

            • greenwich_matron

              It reminds me of Accutron. No matter how good the pitch is, it’s not a Rolex and it’s not a quartz watch (which were just coming to market then), but the pitch made it sound like the apex of engineering and prestige. Their job is not to improve the watch, but to make the customer feel good about buying it. Accounts has the same job: make their clients feel good about buying their creative and research. Improving the product never crossed anyone’s mind.

            • Not applicable

              oh totally! we’re years away from listening to a customer! Why would they ever do that?! :)

            • L’Anne

              Accutron. Its accurate.

              Sounds like an idea Gene would come up with. If he knows the word “accurate.”

        • NeenaJ

          Coming from Cutler, I rather thought that it was a compliment!

          • Not applicable

            hahha- could be. But then he turned around and did all he could to get Harry fired! (also, a likely compliment as it makes Harry a contender of sorts)

          • Not applicable

            btw- I love how Harry’s character has evolved. He was quite timid in season 1 and now he’s a TV big wig who could give two shits about these guys in the office. He knows exactly what is value is- and they can’t simply replace him thanks to the network he’s developed.

        • Cheryl

          I laughed when he called Harry the most dishonest man he’d ever met, I think it was almost a compliment in Cutler world.

      • greenwich_matron

        I bought it. I think Jim is a snake, but snakes can have loyalties too. Don took every chance he could to betray Ted, including lying to his face (cranberry juice v. orange juice) and betraying him after a major personal favor (I am sure Ted knows lots of people who know people who have kids who don’t want to go to Vietnam). Don’s treatment of Ted is the only experience that Jim has of Don. Jim undoubtedly wants Don’s power and money, but Don went out of his way to make it easy for Jim to make it personal.

      • L’Anne

        I’m with you on this one. Don “gave” CA to Ted. That imploded Don and Megan’s tenuous marriage, but was meant to “save” Ted’s. and like I said elsewhere in th thread, the lie for the aspirin was a degree of protection and cover for Ted, who was running rough-shod over the budget. My husband and I asked t the same time: what did he do to Ted?

    • siriuslover

      I know, right? That’s all I can say right now about this post. Well, that’s not entirely true. I was happy that Roger could pull out of his stupor enough to take charge in that conference room. I was irritated at Joan for her “this is working” bit and the idea that Don could search for a new job with dignity–no Joan, if he’s in a non-compete clause, he can’t do that, right? You conference room people are totally talking out your asses right now. Peggy is showing herself to be petty and vindictive about silly things. Really, Peggy? Of all the things, you’re whining about Ted? Ugh. And for that matter, so is Jim Cutler. Ted begged to go to CA to get away from Peggy. Don didn’t do anything, so he’s getting blamed by Jim for something he didn’t do (not the Hershey’s meltdown, but Ted leaving). So much more to say, but I’ll leave it for replies to others.

      • Lilithcat

        no Joan, if he’s in a non-compete clause, he can’t do that, right?

        He can if they fire him.

        • siriuslover

          No, I meant that they DIDN’T actually fire him, so he couldn’t get a different job because the agency was still paying him and therefore he was in limbo. I’m not talking about what he can’t do now.

          • Alloy Jane

            But that’s not necessarily true. Two of those four people in that room felt putting Don on leave was a euphemism for “You’re fired.” Even Don thought so. And seeing as he fished out a good offer from another agency, he was never denied the ability to look for work somewhere else. The only thing Don really needed to wait out was the fallout of his meltdown.

            • siriuslover

              Did Don think so? That’s not what he told Megan or Sally in his conversations with him. He was really in no man’s land, neither here nor there. And I think they may have called him first (wasn’t that the lunch from the previous week?) though I’ll admit I’m not sure about that. The fact that the four partners (plus two who are denied their voice, though it’s only 4PM back in LA) had no agreement on what it meant seems to me that “this” was not working, whatever “this” is to Joan.

            • Alloy Jane

              Don told Roger the reason he didn’t take his xmas phone call was because he fired him.

            • siriuslover

              OK. I’ll rewatch.

            • MarinaCat

              Don’s behavior in eps 1 and 2 was not that of a man who believed he was fired. He might have blurted that out to Roger but all prior honest conversations (Megan, Sally) and indications (pitching through Freddy, Dawn) suggest that he was truly unsure of his future at SC&P. My interpretation was that Don’s “…you fired me” line was an angry utterance and a lead-in to shove the paper with the job offer a at Roger.

    • Lady Bug

      What is Don’s title now? Does he even have one?

      • Mismarker

        Shitter of Beds.

        • Lady Bug

          lol

        • sweetlilvoice

          I had to cackle loudly at work at that one and heads turned!

    • gogobooty

      BETTY! Smokin on the school bus in Jackie O glasses. YES!

      • Not applicable

        LOVED her offhand comment about the teacher. PERFECTLY in character.

        • Shug

          Oh yeah. The second I saw that teacher I knew delicious Judgy Betty comments were happening.

          • Not applicable

            it really was delicious. I know a lot of people don’t appreciate Ms. Jones for her acting- but I think she is so pitch perfect in this role.

            • Shug

              I have a friend who went to high school with her in South Dakota. According to her, this role is not much of an acting stretch.

            • pookiesmom

              Yikes.

            • Not applicable

              could be- but she also has resting bitch face (a condition I understand all too well) so that’s a real help, i’m sure. :)

            • Shug

              Haha yes, that is also true. #RBFAwareness

            • Alloy Jane

              Bobby #1 would agree with that sentiment, I’m sure.

            • Fjasmine

              I think she is too. Snapping her shades back on and lighting her cigarette is a classic Betty move. I think JJ is a very talented actress, Betty is still an interesting character after all these years.

            • Not applicable

              I agree- I’ve seen interviews with her where she’s relaxed and she’s pretty funny…she doesn’t really seem to take herself that seriously. She posts hilarious TBT photos from her childhood– some very unfortunate haircuts. So, I can’t really imagine doing that it if you were really stuck on yourself.

              I think a lot of people react to JJ when they are actually reacting to Betty. Betty, the mean girl- Betty that woman we all know who is really perfect and really competitive about it. She so obviously insecure, but it doesn’t matter- she can turn on a dime. I think JJ really doesn’t get enough credit. It would tough to play the facets of Betty.

        • sweetlilvoice

          I also loved the other Mom’s comments about not milking the wrong udders!

        • Fjasmine

          and to Bobby, another example of Betty being out of touch with what is appropriate to say to a kid.

    • marlie

      What struck me about Betty in this episode is that she hasn’t changed one little bit since the show started, and she doesn’t even seem to have learned from her mistakes. When the bf asked why she was still around, I had a hard time responding. Betty’s a spoiled, vapid bitch who resents her children, and that’s not going to change.

      I sort of hope this is the end of the Megan storyline. She’s always been one of the more uninteresting characters to me, so with the seeming end of his marriage to her, maybe this is yet another “new” start for Don.

      As for Don, I think he’s just biding his time until an opportunity arises when he can rescue the firm or a big client, and then he’ll be in a position to renegotiate the terms of his return. He doesn’t have any intention of putting up with those conditions for very long.

    • Rottenwood

      I’m loving the Machiavellian rise of Jim Cutler; very well-done. Bringing Joan into his fold was a baller move, and having Zombie Ted out in California basically gives him two votes for the price of one. He almost got Draper pushed under a bus just to cover up his computer fiasco, for crying out loud.

      I’m sure there will be some backlash to putting Joan in a semi-villainous role, but I think it’s the part she was born to play.

    • siriuslover

      Oh, I remember the line I wanted to talk about! “I pulled you out from the bottom of a box of furs!” DAMN, Roger, you are on a roll!

      • Fjasmine

        I love seeing Roger step it up. He did it with the airplane account last season and when he feels like excerting power as he did in the meeting he is awesome at at. When the agency was struggling Roger said that he was personally bankrolling the entire thing so I think Roger will always have enough money. He can tune out but come right back in when he feels like t.

        • Gatto Nero

          The man came back from two heart attacks. Just when we think he’s lost it, he rallies. He seems unstoppable.

    • flamingoNW

      The heartbreak of Bobby Draper who so clearly was excited about his mother being there, saving that seat on the blanket for her and shooing his friends away, and then to have her so upset about his childish error and say “You ruined everything” …….ouch.

      I’m not sure what I think of Don saying yes to that ridiculous offer. It certainly can’t have been out of humility. I don’t know how much he even possesses that quality. But it didn’t seem like so much scheming either. We’ll see how that plays out…

      • sweetlilvoice

        I think he will drive Lou nuts and make him quit. I still don’t understand why SCP signed a two year contract with him. He’s such a dud.

        • Rottenwood

          Cutler undoubtedly roped him in to stunt creative and neuter their authority.

          • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

            Or they just went too far in hiring the antithesis of Don Draper.

          • Mismarker

            This may be naive of me, but why would an ad exec want to stunt the creative talent? Aren’t all the ideas coming from creative? The ideas that land accounts?

            • NMMagpie

              This is not naive; it’s merely an indicator of just how dysfunctional SCP is. An ad agency’s heart and soul is their creatives. Without them, there is no advertising.

              If Ted were in the room (a convenient exclusion, if you ask me), he would have made that point. I also liked the subtle implication that Don had spent more time with the creative folks than Lou has, possibly ever.

              I am a creative myself and when the ideas are left to the accountants or management professionals, we are the last considered on any new project list.

            • P M

              I like the point about Don spending time with the creative folks; however, I wonder if that’s really true: how much time had he ever spent time in the creative office, ever?

            • NMMagpie

              While it may have looked like a seat at the kid’s table, I also think it was something else. Don needs supporters and the only way to get them is to go and court them. No one is better at that than Don when he wants something.

            • 3hares

              Cutler seems to see it as that Accounts gets the Accounts and Creative is just more trouble than it’s worth. Which seems like a terrible way to run an ad firm, but it’s his way.

            • Rottenwood

              We’ve seen this before, with Duck – the account guys hate having their fates tethered to mercurial creative types with larger-than-the-business personalities. Before Don imploded, he was the guru of SCDP; the reason most of the clients even bothered to go to a smaller firm. It made him a rock star and a liability. Cutler (and Duck) want the accounts people to be the law of the land, and creative to be passive copy-monkeys who do their bidding. Hence, they want Lou instead of Don or Peggy – passive mediocrity that doesn’t rock the boat.

            • oldscrumby

              The bad accounts guys hate having their fates tethered. Pete and Roger are probably the best accounts guys they have, at least we’ve seen a lot more of them actually landing accounts, and I don’t think it’s coincidental they’re also the ones feeling Don’s loss the most. It goes back to that speech Pete’s girlfriend made about the thrill of the sale and how it didn’t matter if it was a shitty condo or a million dollar mansion, she pushed it with relish. Roger courted clients for months to sell them on the Don Draper pent house, and Pete put out fresh baked cookies and talked about the great views in the Peggy Olsen condo; hell, he cleaned out spider webs and talked up the fixer upper potential of the Ginsburg converted loft, but now all he has is the burnt-out ruins of the Ted Chaough mansion. The disconnect between accounts and creative is hurting the company and it’s most obvious in how Roger and Pete are so frustrated and impotent. Frankly, that’s probably a part of why Harry is doing so well. While new tech may not be creative at least it’s something that can be pushed.

            • Modsquad

              Why do accountants usually run big manufacturing firms, and not the engineers?

            • Mismarker

              I didn’t ask why creative wasn’t running the company. It doesn’t have to be an us v. them mentality. Why would *any* business choose to demean its employees by denying kudos for big accomplishments and encouraging mediocrity?

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              Because engineers are notoriously bad managers. I went out with a guy who worked for a Big Three auto manufacturer. His bosses were engineers, and according to him, they basically sucked at making any management-type decisions, “But give them an equation to solve, and they’re orgasmic.” Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. The best boss I ever had had an engineering degree (but he also had an MBA). I don’t know what the stereotype is about accountants as managers.

          • Aunt Tabby

            Yes, Cutler took advantage of Draper Drama Fatigue to bring in someone HE could control and tilt the balance of power from Creative to Accounts.

        • Vanessa

          He’s not just a dud — he’s dangerous — the fact that he didn’t submit any work for awards that he couldn’t claim was outrageous, and shows his self-interest over the success of the firm.

          • Gatto Nero

            It also shows how completely insecure he is.

    • Lady Bug

      Money quote of the episode: Ginsberg to Peggy: ““That’s comforting. You weren’t rejected. You weren’t even considered.” Rightly or wrongly, that probably sums up exactly how Peggy feels right now. As someone, whether in personal life or professional life, who is constantly being overlooked, ignored, marginalized and not considered.

      • Laylalola

        The show is doing the best it can to make her as petty and unappealing as possible. It’s hard to feel sympathy for her right now.

        • Chris

          I thought it made Ginsberg look bad. That and the way he was loving Don coming in and all the trouble brewing. He really enjoys when people are uncomfortable and loves stirring it up if he can.

          • TigerLaverada

            Ginsberg seems to have no filters. If it crosses his mind, it comes out of his mouth. I love him, particularly when he says what others often feel but would never say. As for being glad to see Don, my take was that he was delighted to see the return of a high-level truly creative person to the agency. Anybody worth their creative salt and not completely blinded by having their personal panties in a twist (looking at you, Peggy) knows that Don sparks greater creativity in everyone that works with him. Seeing him walk into the office was like the sun coming out for those guys.

        • http://toongrrl.deviantart.com/ Toongrrl

          I can’t help to feel sympathy….I feel sympathy for almost anyone! Even Francine (early years) and Pete! Must be a testament to their writing

        • http://www.what-the-frock.com Dana F.

          Agreed – and I think the costuming this episode really reflects that. That frumpy powder-blue suit was one of the worst things I’ve seen her in; it’s like they’re trying to make her physically unappealing to reflect how awful she’s been.

          • sweetlilvoice

            At least Peggy was dressed like a woman and not like a little girl. I think Janie was telling us something right there.

          • Gatto Nero

            And how awful she feels.

        • Fjasmine

          Janie Bryant is also making Peggy look messy, she wasn’t the sharpest dresser to begin with.

      • Fjasmine

        I have been waiting for Peggy to tell off Ginsberg, she hired him! I think it’s a sign of how disspirited she is. Wish Peggy would go out to a movie and pick up a stranger.

    • sweetlilvoice

      Thank you, thank you MW for bringing Francine back for one scene. I loved the pantsuit and the fact that she was working….that whole lunch set off
      Betty’s whole pissed at the world thing. I also thought it was telling that Bobby didn’t know if she was really going to eat……I think another thing that pissed off Betty was Bobby’s obvious crush on his young teacher and that little girl. Some Moms find it hard when they realize they aren’t the only “woman’ in their son’s lives. I agreed with Betty, that teacher needed to wear a bra! And yes, Betty you aren’t a very good mother. Gene only blindly loves you now because he doesn’t know better. Hopefully, after some intense therapy, your kids will begin to understand you better and realize you created your own problems not them.

      • Kathryn Sanderson

        I was a little surprised that a schoolteacher wouldn’t wear a bra to work back then. On the other hand, it was probably more likely to happen back then than it is now. Still…

    • FrauKrissie

      So many of you getting the warm fuzzies over Don eating a big slice of humble pie by accepting those terms …. I think you’re all not paying attention. “People don’t change”. This is Dick Whitman we’re talking about. I’m not buying that he accepted those terms out of humility and wanting to make things right. Something’s afoot, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Roger didn’t have a hand in it. The agency is floundering, Roger’s not happy working with those people anymore…. I smell a take-down from the inside. Don didn’t schedule that dinner meeting for shits and giggles, I doubt he’s shopping for other job offers only to slink back to SC&P with his tail between his legs. I think Don’s being underestimated. Hitting rock-bottom is what someone like Don needs to come back swinging, and possibly losing Megan may have been the last straw. “I tried doing everything right, and it didn’t work”.

      • AnotherJulie

        I am loving the possibilities here! I am now hoping for an inside takedown with Roger and Don. Maybe they can bring back Sal!!! (I know that would be hokey. But I loved that guy…)

        • Shug

          We all loved Sal. Let’s petition the White House or something. :)

        • Gatto Nero

          I loved Sal, too. But I can’t imagine that Weiner would bring him back.

          • Kit Jackson 1967

            They need to bring him back/mention him just once before the series is over, so we can find out what happened to him that night at the park. Part of me is still concerned that something awful happened to him, and I just want to know that he is okay.

          • AnotherJulie

            No, I realize that would never happen. Just wishful thinking on my part!

      • Chris

        Oh I for one am hoping for a big Don Draper sabotage attack on Lou and Cutler. As I said below, he is the master of passive aggressive, sneak attacks be it oysters with Roger or the aspirin pitch with Ted and Peggy. I hope he hasn’t reformed so much he hasn’t kept his bag of dirty tricks handy. I will rub my hands gleefully if and when Don serves up his revenge to those two. You don’t want Don Draper as your enemy.

        • L’Anne

          I’ve viewed the aspirin pitch as less an attempt to undermine Ted and Peggy and more as an effort to spare them. Peggy’s idea put the ad about twice the original estimated costs, and no one took the new costs to the client. To get the client to give in and up the budget, Don came up with the story about Gleason, and because St. Joseph’s was a long-standing client of the CGC, the guy knew him and agreed to a higher budget. Otherwise, how was anyone supposed to describe the decision to go over budget so much and not say anything to the client?

          “Well, you know, Ted here has a crush on Peggy, and this was her idea, and she’s desperate for an award, and they think this idea is a winner. And he just likes her so much he can’t say no and just gives in to keep her happy.”

          Wanting to honor the last idea of a dying man sounds more dignified than appeasing “his girl” to try to get in her pants.

          • TigerLaverada

            Yeah, I viewed it the same way. Given the situation, it seemed like Don on the fly found a way to save the agency’s hide. It wasn’t elegant but it was necessary, and business, not personal. Peggy in particular seems to be devolving into somebody with no self-observation whatsoever. Bitter, table for one.

          • Alloy Jane

            That’s funny. I saw the aspirin thing as punishment to both Ted and Peggy. Don was at war with Ted and he was mad at Peggy for “betraying” him by leaving SCDP and not worshipping him for ever and ever, and while he could’ve gone to bat for the ad and done his Draper best to sell it on its merits, he took the opportunity to give them both the finger while letting them know he was giving them the finger as a couple, and putting the idea out as the deceased Gleason’s because that story would be impossible to deny without losing face. Subterfuge at its finest.

            • Chris

              That’s exactly how I saw it. It was revenge for their “betrayal” of him. He punished them both and took the credit for the idea away from Peggy for the final sting.

            • Alloy Jane

              God that conversation with her at the end of that episode, I forgot about that. I was initially a bit confused as to why Peggy wouldn’t be happy to work with him again, but you mentioning how this basically stripped her of credit reminded me of how much shit he put her through last season. Turning her into the battleground of the pissing contest and then when he realizes that he was never going to win, he hits her where it really hurts.

              I mean, I know why I can’t stand the guy but I really had to dig in the memory for why she would treat him with such open loathing. I still don’t think she should have but I get why she did.

            • Chris

              Their last conversation (that I recall) was her telling him he was a monster. Everyone seems to think Peggy is mad at Don for Ted going to California, but that happened after her confrontation with Don and Ted made it clear to her why he was going. Days (or weeks?) before that, was her blow up with Don over the aspirin ad. Ted had told Don he and Peggy thought it was her shot at a Clio. Peggy mentioned again this episode she didn’t think she would top her work on that ad. Peggy told Don he ruined the ad and he ruined everything. She did tell Don he destroyed Ted but the aspirin commercial was just the last straw. Don had been sabotaging and undermining Ted since they merged and Peggy saw it long before Ted did. Don walked in on the day Peggy was reminded again that there would be no Clio for her Rosemary’s Baby commercial that Don had sabotaged. Peggy is miserable at work now and probably thinks none of her ideas will ever make it to commercials again under Lou. I saw that as her main source of anger. I’m sure she is also mad about Ted but I don’t know why everyone thought her yelling at Don was about her personal life exclusively.

            • Alloy Jane

              I think it’s because they opened with that bit of her telling Don he crushed Ted. It makes her anger seem more personal than professional. I hope to hell it’s based on more than what went down between him and Ted because if that’s the driving force of her bitterness–and considering how this whole episode had a “not actually Don’s fault” theme to it–then I really hate the writers. I responded somewhere else to Glammie that I think it’s utterly condescending to go the “slighted woman” route with Peggy when thus far, she’s been written to be more conscious than that. Her “I’m not that girl” line to Ted when he told her he loved her was indicative of her priorities and that the failure of that relationship could undo that mentality, I don’t buy it as being plausible. Not from Peggy.

        • Kit Jackson 1967

          I like the idea of Don seeking revenge. He would want the whole creative team behind him. I could see Peggy being the last holdout, and finally he gets her on his side. She would say something like, “just to be clear, I don’t like you. I’m just doing this because I hate Lou and everything he stands for.”

      • Aunt Tabby

        I agree. I thought Don’s blithe “Okay” to the partners terms sounded more dangerous than humble. Don’s been doing his homework and keeping up with things behind the scenes through Dawn and is even contributing to campaigns through Freddy Rumson. Don will be just fine, but Cutler and Avery are going to get schooled. And they won’t see it coming.

        • Gatto Nero

          Let’s hope.

      • oldscrumby

        I am so glad someone else feels this way. If he’d taken a few more seconds to answer I might have bought he was desperate and willing to lower himself as much as they want to get back in. But that quick okay… He saw everyone’s shock at him showing up when he thought he was expected and then he was left to wait all alone for a while. He’s got a plan, and it may be a terrible plan that will blow up in his face and ruin him but he’s not slinking back with his tail between his legs.

        • Fjasmine

          I hadn’t thought of it but love the idea!

      • SparkleNeely

        Yes! And as someone who has also tried changing my life for the better, or being a better person, only to find out that no one cares (tm M. Weiner), that’s the only thing you’ve got left – doing it YOUR way! Cheers for Frank Sinatra’s motto. Let’s hope Don makes ‘em all eat shit.
        That said, I hate what’s being done to Betty. She made so much progress last season. She did right by Sally and Bobby and Gene, even. The break-in? Who did they call? She called Don when Sally got into trouble and was truly frustrated and heartbroken that she couldn’t do more for Sally. Now she’s pissed about a sandwich? Not buying it. Weiner may try to redeem Don but what the hell does he have against Betty? I sometimes think he’s a misogynist.

    • Vanessa

      What is crystal clear here is the complete dysfunctionality of the merged company. The partners meeting where noone was listening to each other, the underfunded media department, the neglected West Coast office (and the bi-coastal split that makes partners meetings a joke), etc.

      • Not applicable

        what’s clear is Jim’s maneuverings to take advantage of the dysfunction and manipulate every situation to his advantage.

        • ImpertinentVixen

          Cutler has vastly underestimated how quickly and completely Don is going to a) win back allies and b) run circles around Lou Avery. Both without appearing to do much of anything.

          • Not applicable

            i hope so… it just might be that Don’s rough upbringing prepared him well for dealing with dishonest people. (the Hobo Code)

    • leighanne

      I think this is one of the last few times we’ll see Megan. She looked almost blurry or fuzzy while in her bathrobe on the phone with Don- already fading from his life and her story is fading out of the show.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I hope so too….I cannot stand how they are dragging their marriage out. When Betty was really done (with Henry in the wings), so never looked back.

    • shopgirl716

      I was very surprised when Don took the offer. It seems like the easiest thing for him to do was find a job in CA. He could save his marriage, be a hotshot again and do what he’s good at – running away. He is not going to be able to put up with Lou for very long because Lou is an incompetent asshole sitting in Don’s chair. So we wait to see if Don can maneuver Lou out of the chair. Either way it is going to cost the firm big bucks. The partners really have mishandled this entire situation and seem to be blind to that fact. They also cannot seem to see how drastically advertising is changing all around them and how badly they need innovators such as Harry. They are heavily invested in how things have been and are not at all in tune with where things are going. Hence, no computer and absolutely no appreciation technology or good creative. This is a bad sign for the agency’s future and Don probably would have been better of in CA with Megan and Pete. Will there be an agency split where Pete, Harry and a few unhappy others leave the agency? Stay tuned.

      • Bob Ross

        I agree with this, but even if they fired him in season 6, they would still have to buy him out and they did not want to do that. They hoped they leave would be longer and he would quit on his own because his ego would not take it. Obviously, they do not know his new outlook in life and trying to be a better person so he is willing to face the music. I am sure they were surprised he wanted to come back, but their hands were tied as Roger pointed out he was not in breach. Breaking down in a Hershey’s pitch is too vague to fire for cause if they went to court. Pryce embezzling money is more of a breach a court would understand.

        • shopgirl716

          Agreed that it would be difficult to fire Don but it seems strange that they would enter into a two year contract with another creative director when the situation with the first creative director, who is also a partner, is unresolved. I’m surprised that no one saw the potential financial issues in this situation until now. It’s bad business. The partners painted themselves into a corner financially and took a foolish risk signing that contract with Lou. I think this agency is headed for its Titanic by the end of the season. If we take Weiner’s theme that you cannot move past your own crap to its logical conclusion, then the partner’s short sighted actions and refusal to recognize the changing times have doomed the agency. They are too busy with their own bullshit and personal agendas to see what is happening right in front of them.

          • Bob Ross

            I agree it now seems like a stupid move, but they knew Don and thought correctly a guy like him would never sit on leave and want to come back and would quit. He has a huge ego. The Don from 1960 wouldn’t, he would have told them to stuff it. Like he told Duck to stuff it in 1963. It was a reasonable gamble on their part, they do not know of his struggles and the bad turns his life took. If they knew his real trouble with booze and the shaky ground his marriage was in as well as with his kids, then yes, they probably would have just took the hit and bought him out if they wanted him gone, or fired him and claimed just cause and fought in court (in the real world, in the tv show world, he has to come back, because unlike Betty, there is no reason to continue to watch SC & P without him there)

          • T C

            Based on my experience back then, most management contracts were either 18 months or 2 years unless permanent (i.e. partnership) employment contracts. Anything of shorter duration was for non-management personnel.

      • Fjasmine

        I think despite everything that office feels more like home to Don than any other place he has been.

    • shopgirl716

      My dad could turn on a dime just like Betty does with her kids. It makes for lots of resentments later, trust me.

      • P M

        Been there.

      • Elizabetta1022

        I think it’s a hallmark of narcissism. My dad was the same.

        • shopgirl716

          Absolutely. I think the saddest part of people like them is they are so desperately unhappy. They lash out and blame everyone when the problem is the person in the mirror.

    • bingo

      I was shocked at Don’s acceptance as well, but bear in mind that as long as he’s not in breach of contract, he can (I think) cash out his partnership and walk away whenever he wants. He may try a mini-coup with Pete and Ted and if things don’t materialize he might just go on his way.

      • fnarf

        The thing is, though, this is a NEW contract, one that’s going to be almost impossible not to be in breach of. Once Bert retires or Roger has a last heart attack, Don’s going to be gone, and his partner shares are going to be “reabsorbed”, not cashed. It’s a terrible solution. If he had any brains in his head he would have demanded a buyout, sold the apartment, taken all that money and gotten himself established in California. Pete would have gone with him for sure. But he said yes. He’ll be out on his ass at the end, I’m sure of it.

        • Chris

          Or just used his shares as leverage. Call them on it- “OK, you want to fire me then you buy me out, in full, today.” He had to know they would jeopardize the business doing that. I cannot believe he signed that paper, it was sheer madness.

        • P M

          Well, Betty did say that Don didn’t understand money.

        • Gatto Nero

          That’s it — almost anything Don does now could be used as evidence of a breach of his “probation.” He’s walking a tightrope.

        • Bob Ross

          Well, he is already pretty rich, so it would not be THAT crushing if he left with nothing. I think he agreed because he knew he was at fault and had to eat some crap. I he received $500,000.00 in 1963 money from the British when they bought Sterling Cooper, plus his salary for years and partner payouts probably puts his worth at over a million in 1960′s money. He would be the equivalent of a multi-millionaire today.

        • Aunt Tabby

          Yes, but once Don reestablishes his value, and the clients come in BECAUSE of him, will they be so quick to toss out their rainmaker? The stipulations will mean nothing if enforcing them affect the profits. Steve Jobs was “fired” from Apple. How did that work out for them? Would Apple’s board of directors opt to oust him during his phenomenal second rise because he still yelled at people?

        • bingo

          Matt W. has always given us twists, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he managed to stay sober and play nice for a few weeks–just long enough to blow up the company and walk away with his share. Time constant for him being in breach of contract when motivated could be as long as a month.

      • mad girl

        CDC… Chaugh Draper Campbell!

        • Kit Jackson 1967

          I agree with the name, but there will be other people who will join. Don will want Peggy. Peggy has a pact with Ken, and she’ll probably want Stan to come too.

        • bingo

          CDC: we immunize you from shitty ad campaigns! :-)

    • Bob Ross

      This was an excellent episode for Don and the partners, who got to do more than they have since the end of season three. I also thought Tom and Lorenzo’s review correctly pointed out how odd it was the most hostile people to Don were Joan and Peggy, who really were blaming him for their own crap. Everyone who reviews this show blames Don for the merger and not thinking it through, but they all agreed to it because they wanted Chevy. I think the air has officially gone out of the Don and Peggy start their own agency theory of the end of the show. These three episodes have really brought Peggy low. She is really now just a nasty person. She wants to be the boss somewhere, and does not want Lou, Ted or Don, and is not capable of that because of her attitude and the times.

      Joan’s reaction was the most surprising. I was surprised at Peggy’s because we saw how she was suffering under Lou, but they established she is bitter and lonely and clearly had enough of the old men in her life. Joan seemed to be protecting her turf as partner only. Her saying “this works!” was the most ironic line she ever said, it clearly doesn’t. I think it is an odd choice for the writers to make Joan and Peggy, usually the fan favorites, kind of nasty this year. It works for me, but it is a bold decision.

      Even Megan wanting a divorce was for the wrong reasons. She was very good at advertising, but threw it away because her dad guilt tripped her about her “dream”. In fact, it could be argued she went after Don because he was a brilliant ad man and she wanted in that business. Once she quit advertising, their relationship was not the same.

      It was nice for Roger to fight for Don. It was a funny bit after his argument to Don admitting in the next breath he missed him.

      The Betty story was poignant, as she is learning she has no “reward” like her friend in life, as she is a mother only and not even a very good one. Even when she tries, she cannot change who she is (yet)

      • ImpertinentVixen

        Peggy is still smarting over Don’s screwing her and Ted over the Bayer Aspirin ad because Don didn’t fight for over-budget pitch. Don even claimed the pitch as Gleaon’s last idea, thereby taking the idea away from Peggy.

      • Mismarker

        The scene between Francine and Betty was one of the saddest of the whole series. Francine is decidedly modern, working for her own goals outside of motherhood. Betty is stuck in the past speaking of Henry’s accomplishments as if they are her own. Really, what/who is Betty if she is not even able to do any of the heavy lifting of motherhood? She’s got the help for all that. When she “tries”, she ends up making Bobby feel like shit for the whole day and probably longer. And then the admission to Henry that Gene only loves her because he’s still young. Kudos to January Jones for making me feel sads for Betty Francis. I know I’m probably in the minority here!

        • Teresa

          And if I’m not mistake, thoroughly modern Francine is wearing a polyester pants suit. Cutting edge.

    • Mismarker

      Anyone know what movie Don was watching at the beginning of the episode?

      • NMMagpie

        I thought it was Purple Noon, which was remade as The Talented Mr. Ripley.

        • Mismarker

          Model Shop. Google is my friend!

      • ImpertinentVixen

        The Model Shop, released 04/01/1969.

    • Heather

      I thought it was interesting that when Francine called her “Betty Draper” Betty just smiled and sat back. I think a few seasons ago should would have corrected her.

      I think Megan will forgive Don. I felt that most of her anger and sadness revolved around being rejected by Don on top of being rejected over and over in her career. She is feeling very unwanted.

    • schadenfreudelicious

      I know Betty is Betty, we cannot really expect her to change…but I truly wanted to shove a sandwich down her throat after her shameful ( and typical) treatment of poor Bobby

      • Lady Bug

        I know. There are moments where it seems that Betty does have a special relationship with Bobby-parents day at camp, talking to him about monsters on the bus; but then she has to ruin it by making Bobby feel like absolute shit all day just for making a mistake (of which he was very apologetic).
        She claims that her children don’t love her, but her selfishness and low-self worth makes her blind to see just how much Bobby loves his mother and wants her to be happy and proud of him.

        • Kit Jackson 1967

          Bobby has clearly seen many monster movies. Is this a further indication that he’s really into movies like this father?

          • Lady Bug

            Very well could be, remember that Bobby and Don had bonding experience watching “Planet of the Apes”? I can see Bobby going to film school.

            • Kit Jackson 1967

              Don and Bobby’s movie outing is one of my favorite moments of the entire series.

    • xay

      I can’t remember if I read it here or on AV Club, but one of the commenters talked about the moment when Sally got out of the car last week and told Don he loved him in terms of that point as a parent where you go from being given your child’s love because you are their parent to earning because they have grown into a fully fledged person. This week with Betty and Bobby was kind of the mirror of that – Bobby adores his mother but Betty doesn’t think she needs to earn her children’s love and will never understand why she lost it.

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        Well said.

        • DeniseSchipani

          I honestly think Betty was trying, and clearly her lunch with Francine is what prompted her to do so — she wants to be A Good Mother, because after all what else does she have?She’s “old fashioned” and thinks a wife should be home parenting and caring for her home, not out WORKING like Francine. So she was motivated to try to be that mythical mother (but also, I have to think, a bit defensively jealous of her old friend — even the way Francine turned to wave her hand to order dessert must have looked so commanding and, for lack of a better term, man-like, in her pantsuit). But she’ll always fail because even when she was trying to be all that with Bobby on the field trip, she couldn’t help but be, well, Betty — and be selfish and petty, and then lash out. Being momentarily upset at Bobby trading the sandwich was understandable. But taking it beyond the line by then making him feel awful about it, not relenting, and making him eat the candy was horrible — and for them both, I’ll add. She was also caught between the world Francine seems to inhabit now, and the breezy, braless young teacher. Where does she fit in?

      • http://batman-news.com JLawGirl

        God, she gets to me. Every time I want to yell at her! I’ve gotten angry with my kids before, but because I think I’m somewhat normal I also realize my kids are KIDS. And instead of getting her digs in and moving on, she keeps it up all day. Poor Bobby is miserable, but she’s the pouty, insolent child. Great acting because she seriously makes my blood boil.

      • Gatto Nero

        And that’s partly because Betty is still such a child herself.

        • Mismarker

          So much of parenthood is letting go of selfish behaviors. Betty will never be anything but self-centered.

    • http://www.what-the-frock.com Dana F.

      Megan’s agent calling Don to discuss her behavior was a nice callback to season one where Betty’s therapist would report back to Don. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

      • Chris

        Yes, as I said somewhere else here Don even tried treating Megan the way he treated Betty but she wasn’t putting up with it.

      • Alice Teeple

        Ooh, good point.

      • siriuslover

        Yes!

      • Lady Bug

        Great point! The difference is, the calls from the agent are unsolicited, while Don wanted to know what Betty was saying his therapy

      • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

        I cringed in particular at that “We need to talk about OUR GIRL.”

    • janierainie

      I want to see what Don’s got in store for Lou. I HATE that guy! He is so many bad bosses rolled into one. Weiner has to be setting up something dramatic and satisfying for Lou’s fall, because it would be a cherry on top of the last season,( and that’s what I really want lol). Either that or Lou will end up on top due to “the peter principle”, for a cynical bent to the end of the season. In which case, I will be depressed.

    • Lilithcat

      The absolute terror in Don’s eyes when Megan told him it was over was a wonder to behold.

      • P M

        I loved how she *told* him, if you see what I mean. And she was so quietly enraged.

    • http://batman-news.com JLawGirl

      I’m not all that concerned about Don “working” under Lou. Lou is already feeling threatened, vulnerable and insecure just by Don’s presence. He’s terrible at what he does. He’s got Don’s old team working under him so his only ally is Jim, but who, as mentioned, does pose a risk to creative. One brilliant idea and Lou is going to come unglued. I believe in redemption so I gotta hope Don can hold it together long enough to come through big for the agency and get on everyone’s good side again. Everyone is getting his/her licks in now, but Don does have allies at the firm. Also, as TLo mentioned last week…Roger really shut everyone up when he mentioned the very real threat of Don’s brilliance going to work for another Madison Ave. agency. NO ONE wants that. Don may seem humble right now, but he knows this is his number one bargaining chip.

      • Joanna

        Lou is so insecure. He was threatened by the idea of Don’s presence with the whole Dawn situation and Sally showing up unannounced. He’s such a small, petty little man. Allan Havey is pretty hysterical in the part.

        • Gatto Nero

          Lou’s insecurity and mediocrity will do him in.
          And Havey is great.

        • Fjasmine

          He is great and the sweater vests and glasses with a chain are perfect. I’ve always loved how Roger whips out his glasses, they were even in his bathrobe.

          • Joanna

            Yeah, the grandpa cardigan, the glasses on a chain combined with all the outrage seen through all the glass just cracks me up.

        • teddy partridge

          The glimpse of Lou looking into the conference room as Don enters from the opposite side convinced me that the partners didn’t ask Lou whether he wanted Don working for him. Lou looked baffled at that assemblage. Wait until he finds out Don reports to him!

      • Fjasmine

        Lou has the ability to crush Don’s ideas which he probably will do just to be petty. He also knows Don has a short fuse.

    • French_Swede

      That’s two episodes in a row that ended on Don’s facial expression in reaction to something just said. Despite all the other SCP drama, this is still Don’s world.

    • French_Swede

      Yes, Betty, you are a terrible mother. And damned lucky to have a husband who seems to care about his stepchildren and their well-being, even if it’s only a small pat on the back.

      • 3boysful

        Why was the trip so dramatically ruined? Just the sandwich thing? It was heartbreaking how excited (and surprised) he was to have her there (which is a bit odd for a middles school boy–mine always said “Would you quit volunteering!!”), and then the sandwich thing, while perhaps annoying and inconvenient, totally ruins everything? I was wondering if Betty now has an eating disorder, since she lost weight, but then shared a dessert at lunch with her friend, sandwich fiasco (maybe Bobby assumed from experience she wouldn’t be eating), then she didn’t eat her dinner.

        • Logo Girl

          I agree. It looked like she wanted to kill Francine for ordering dessert, and it may be that she had planned the sandwich was the only thing she was going to eat that day (aside from the milk ;). Having once had an eating disorder, I can assure you that the day revolves around what you do plan and allow yourself to eat.

        • gogobooty

          I think Betty has always been harsh toward Bobby because he reminds her of Don. Before she knew all the Dick Whitman secrets Betty was always admonishing Don to whup Bobby’s ass for being a kid, basically. She seemed most enraged when he lied, which reminded her of lying liar Daddy Don, who she suspected of fucking about, which was later confirmed with barfy Cadillac results. Waaaay back in one of the only happy family episodes I can recall, everyone has a jolly day, with Sally mixing drinks for Betty and Don and everyone laughing on the parents’ bed. Bobby gets rambunctious and jumps around and the bed breaks and Bobby says something totally Bart Simpson, like “I didn’t do it!” Betty gets all pissy that he “lied” and starts to send the kids to bed, and one of them speaks up in a small voice and says, “But we haven’t eaten dinner yet.” And it’s clear that Betty is completely critical of her kids while merrily neglecting them all afternoon into evening as she drinks. Another perfect day ruined by those little brats!

    • French_Swede

      Betty! Harry! Francine! Henry! Bobby! Gene! They’re baaaaack!

    • John G. Hill

      Without reading anything else, I have to say, I found the ending absolutely thrilling. Here I was expecting him to tell the partners to F off, and Don just says, “okay.” That’s why I watch, unpredictable brilliance, but not out of his new character determined to fly right.

      • CanIbeFrank

        I was totally shocked at his response, but perhaps, now that he’s in a reflective, self-aware time, he realizes that the stipulations actually aren’t all that unreasonable.

      • 3boysful

        I also was shocked and loved it! (I was saying “F-you” for him!). There were several behavioral shockers like that in this ep. I totally thought the other agency guys were setting the blond on him at dinner. Then when Don knocked on the door in the next scene, I totally expected it to be answered by the blond who hustled him at dinner, then when Roger opened the door, I thought HE had gotten to the blond first. And given his creative talent, I was surprised that virtually no one but Roger seemed to back him in the office.

        And I really loved the telephone scene with Megan, how they were each spotlit with their phones, but with a black surround.

    • Lady Bug

      How will SC&P LA react to news of Don’s rehiring? It didn’t appear that Jim or Roger actually consulted Ted and Pete before serving as their proxy in the partners meeting.
      Pete, I think, genuinely wants Don back. I don’t think him telling Don in episode one that if it were up to him, he would have Don back at the office, was just blowing smoke. I think Pete recognizes how vital Don is for the agency. On the other hand, I can’t imagine Pete being pleased that a vote took place (presumably) without his knowledge. For Pete, this is probably just another example of New York marginalizing the LA office. The bi-coastal phone call where the LA office could hear everything said by the NY office, but the NY office couldn’t hear the LA office, is a perfect metaphor for how marginalized Pete feels right now-he even has to defer to Bob Benson on Chevy now.
      Ted, I’m not sure. He just seems so out of it right now, that I honestly don’t think he cares one way or the other. By serving as his proxy, Jim implied that Ted would be against rehiring Don. But I doubt Cutler really cares one way or another about how Ted really feels.

      • NeenaJ

        Ted needs Don to get out of his funk. Creatives like Ted need people to bounce off of. Whereas Don works best alone, Ted needed Gleason, then Peggy, and now he needs Don in order to shine (produce good work).

        Pete will be P.O.’d that he wasn’t considered for a vote. But, I think he knows that Don is the agency’s (and his) best chance for success.

      • siriuslover

        I think Ted and Don reached some accord, and I also think that Ted is above all a very fair person. I think Ted would be on Don’s “side” in this case.

        • Chris

          Maybe Ted has changed his mind by now, but he went along with Don’s suspension before. He did it even knowing he would be thousands of miles away and they would have to put someone in from outside the agency in that office.

          • Lady Bug

            Did Ted go along with Don’s suspension? When Don was suspended, he met with Jim, Bert, Roger and Joan (the same group who rehired him). I don’t recall if there was a mention of Pete & Ted at the suspension meeting.

            • Chris

              Cutler said something like “Ted is confident he can supervise creative from CA” (I’m paraphrasing because I don’t remember the exact words). He made it clear Ted knew and approved of putting Don on leave and was willing to pick up the extra work. (which clearly never happened).

            • Lady Bug

              Good memory! Thanks :)

            • Chris

              Although knowing Cutler, maybe he was just speaking for Ted without Ted knowing it.

            • siriuslover

              We replied at the same time! I agree.

            • siriuslover

              Yeah, but we are now saying that Cutler is speaking for Ted without Ted’s knowledge, so why should we now believe that’s the case here?

            • Chris

              We don’t know. It could go either way. Cutler may have been lying before or Ted may just not have cared or been mad. It’s clear he knows now and didn’t do anything.

        • greenwich_matron

          I doubt it. Don went out of his way to betray Ted every single chance he got. Ted has no reason to ever trust Don.

    • otterbird

      What does it say about the world of this show that the most moral, upstanding male character is the one in politics? (I love you, Henry! Don’t go changing, okay?)

    • Lisa Petrison

      Most of the those terms were harsh but made some sense, in the light of Don’s previous actions. Insisting that he have Lane’s office as one of the terms seems to have been for no other reason than to make him upset and freak him out though. Especially since someone (Peggy) is already using it without complaints — it’s not like it’s sitting there empty. I wonder whose idea that was. That would shed some light on who his strongest enemy amongst the partners was. Roger was the partner who brought it up, but obviously it wasn’t his idea (and he said it apologetically too).

      If I were Pete and Ted, I would be annoyed at not being informed that this kind of decision was being made without my being informed. Are decisions made by the partners even valid if not all the partners are given the opportunity to participate?

      • Alice Teeple

        It sounds to me like a Joan move, since they were friends and she is probably throwing that on the pile of “Things To Hate About Don.”

      • P M

        Ah, but think of the possibilities! Lane could haunt Don in that office ;)

        • Fjasmine

          wish I could upvote this more than once!

      • Kit Jackson 1967

        Does this mean Peggy no longer has an office? I can’t imagine they would demote her.

      • Alloy Jane

        Don has to be downstairs with the creatives, so while giving him Lane’s old office would mean something very personal to Don, I doubt it was a complete slight beyond showing him that they won’t be tossing Lou on his can just cuz their prima donna is back. They have no idea of what transpired between Lane and Don prior to Lane’s suicide.

    • NeenaJ

      Loved Stan’s line upon seeing Don, “You been riding the rails?” Such a callback to “The Hobo” episode for me. In a way Don has been doing just that. The Hobo taught him how to survive and that’s just what Don is going to do.

      Making Bobby eat that candy mad me want to rip Betty’s throat out ( I would say heart if I believe she had one).

      Harry was masterful in the triage of the client. Lies or not, he knows the way of the future. Also loved how he shot down Cutler, “This conversation is over!” It’s not self-pity – it’s the state of the agency. I have to believe that Don sees the value in Media and Harry ends up on Team Draper.

      • decormaven

        Hope Don makes the mark of the sickle on Jim Cutler’s door.

        • sweetlilvoice

          The whole office would be decorated with them at this point.

    • John G. Hill

      One thing I just realized, but of course have known all along, Matthew Weiner is a creative person. Creatives hate bureaucrats, who put rules, stipulations and commandments above all else. Weiner is either going to have his bureaucrats fail, or he’s going to have them prevail, as bureaucrats often do in the real world. I, for one, want to see who wins.

      • 28fairplay

        It seems absurd to me that an advertising agency wouldn’t value creative above everything since that’s what they are about. What am I missing?

        • John G. Hill

          It’s the constant struggle. Even in the beginning of film making there were creatives who also saw the potential of making large money. In real life, it’s always the studio executives, agents and lawyers who make more money than the artists, with a few exceptions of course. The money people always resent the creatives, because deep down in their hearts they know that without the creatives, they’d be nowhere.

        • Gatto Nero

          I think that there’s often a struggle between creative and the bottom line in companies like SC&P.
          In the end they kept Don largely for financial reasons. They made the conditions onerous for him in the expectation that he will fail and then they won’t have to buy him out.

          • Chris

            Yes, which made it all the more stunning when he accepted them.

        • TigerLaverada

          Speaking for the ad agencies I worked in for 20-odd years (in creative), I’d say the conflict between creatives and what we used to call the beancounters is pretty universal. I think it’s because the goals of the two are different and often seem opposed, reflecting the difficulty of successfully balancing art and commerce.

          The stereotypical creative type will blow a carefully crafted budget to make the product better and then expect the account side to somehow smooth that over with the client or expect the business heads to be okay with taking the loss because, Clios! On the other hand, the stereotypical beancounter/account exec will want to kiss client ass no matter what, even when the client is clearly wrongheaded about what will help promote their business and make them stand out from their competition; they won’t defend good creative but will constantly advocate for the client’s notions, no matter how bad. This approach reduces an agency’s creative output from potentially great to ‘good enough’. And ‘good enough’ will drive away truly creative people to other places. Happy is the agency that finds creatives with good business sense and account people who appreciate the power of creativity.

          As a creative, I obviously favor creativity. But as an advertising business person, I also favored it. Ultimately, creativity is what makes an agency a major player rather than a hack shop. The absolute best client pitches I’ve ever seen were given by creatives who were passionate about the project. Like Don.

          Which is why I don’t understand Lou. How did such a non-creative, non-passionate person ever get considered for the position of CD, even in the mythical Mad Men world? Even in the shittier, much smaller town agencies I’ve been in, every CD had more vision than this character is showing. How can the partners be comfortable with this “aim low” approach?

          I always thought being a great account executive was far and away the most difficult job in an agency. I admire Don, but I admire the hell out of Pete.

          • greenwich_matron

            I think they were over-correcting when they hired Lou. They had great creative, and all it got them was drama. They made a lot of money last season between Joan and Ken, and all Don got them was blown business and embarrassment.

            • Chris

              That’s not strictly true. Don still did good work. He brought in the orange juice account among others. He caused drama behind the scenes but his Hershey pitch was the problem. They hired Lou because despite having Peggy and one of two creative heads (which was as much as those agencies ever had before) they still wanted a man in charge.

            • greenwich_matron

              Didn’t he blow out the orange juice because he wanted to humiliate Ted by bringing in the cranberry juice? I agree that they wanted a man in charge, but there were 1.5 billion others to choose from.

    • Deb

      Does anyone know how old Bobby is? As mentioned here in the comments, it appears that he’s an 8 year old in 1969. But we know that in 1960 when the show began he was already a small boy, not an infant. He should be about 13 or 14 I would think. Sally seems about 16. We also know Gene is about 6, because he was a baby when JFK was assassinated. Yet last night we saw him in a transition chair, as if he were a 3 year old.

      • Lady Bug

        In one of the earlier seasons, either season 2 or 3, Don mentions that Sally is 8 and Bobby is 5. So there is suppose to be a 3 year age difference between them. I think Bobby is suppose to be around 11/12, maybe?

        • MarinaCat

          Bobby was 10 in season 5 when Don dropped the kids off at their new house and said, “Say hi to Lurch and Morticia” so he’s 12 going on 13 now. He quizzed Bobby asking how old he would would be when Bobby is Don’s age (40.) and the answer was 70. Sally is 15.

      • Gatto Nero

        I think Sally is around 14, which would make Bobby around 11.

      • 28fairplay

        Bobby should be 12 and that is actually the age of the actor who portrays him.
        Gene is 6. he was sitting on a booster seat not a transition chair.

        • Deb

          Thanks so much for the clarity! Most kids are finished with a booster seat by the time they are 3, so it was seeming like the boys don’t grow and age as quickly as Sally does.

        • Logo Girl

          I was born the same year as Gene and I definitely don’t recall using a booster seat in 1969… I think they are using an actor who is a little younger.

    • Gatto Nero

      “Like all inveterate liars, he has no idea how and when to wield honesty appropriately.”
      I thought about this last night, too. When Don finally comes clean, especially in a professional setting (Madison Avenue is built on lies), he is punished for it. With Megan, he was making a business case in his “don’t act desperate” speech and in trying to sell his innocence to her.
      Only with Sally has his honesty bought him love and trust so far.
      I wonder how this honesty/deception theme will play out.

    • Shawn R. Egide

      I think Don’s plan is straight forward. He’ll come in and be the dutiful soldier because he know’s Lou is a hack and can’t cut it long term. Don will eventually either sit in or be asked by clients to sit in; because they know he is a creative genius. From there Lou will start to get testy and eventually implode – or explode in front of some clients and leave. Others (Joan, Peggy, etc.) will try to step in and save but the clients won’t trust their vision as they had Don’s in the past. The agency will eventually lose some clients and a bit of panic will set in amongst the partners. Somewhere in the final 7 episodes (which this first 7 will set up) the agency will realize that creative IS the agency and Don is the only “blend” of creative genius and business person to understand that reality. I’ve been in sales 30+ years and always had to remind “non sales” people (read: Joan, Peggy, Bert, Jim, et al) that “sales” is the first line on on the income statement. Similarly if you don’t have top notch creative (for an ad agency) your “sales” plummet.

      On the personal side I’ve been telling my wife for weeks that his daughter Sally will be the one to bring Don back to “humanity”. Oddly, and although she’s is only a teenager in the show she is the only one he trusts and he knows that she sees’ through all his BS at this point.

      • Kit Jackson 1967

        Peggy isn’t sales, Peggy is part of the creative team, unless you meant something esle, in which case I’m unsure what you meant by including her in the list.

    • Gatto Nero

      I’m wondering about the overall arc of this two-part season. I expect that by the end of the first seven episodes, the primary characters may be even more deeply in trouble than they are now; there has to be a setup for conflicts to be resolved (or not) in the second half.

      • Laylalola

        Oh Weiner is still playing around to an almost tiresome and sometimes too on-the-nose degree with Dante’s Hell and Purgatory (Pete last week actually said something like he doesn’t know if he’s in hell or limbo or what, and this week Don accused Roger of being Judas). We’re probably going to continue to see deliberate and overt depictions of suffering in one’s own personal hell as a result of lust or greed or treachery or fraud etc., and of dealing with one’s own personal purgatory as a result of other people’s pride, envy, wrath, sloth, etc. I’m sure Lou’s mediocrity fits into all of this somehow, and yes, Sally is probably the Beatrice figure in the end.

        • Gatto Nero

          Sally is definitely Beatrice. And I think Don realized that, too (if unconsciously), in the Valentine’s episode.

        • Glammie

          Oh Lou is sloth. But, man, most of the regulars are quite the mix of cardinal sins how do you even choose?

    • Joanna

      Ginsberg telling Don he smells good is one of my favourite Ginsberg moments ever.

      • Gatto Nero

        Ginsberg has no self-censorship. Whatever’s on his mind comes out his mouth.
        So he has no guile at all — he never lies.

        • Cheryl

          Ginsberg cracks me up all the time with his bluntness. Last weeks elevator scene with Peggy (masturbate gloomily) was another example of Ginsberg total inability to hold his tongue. He’s luckily he’s good at his job!

        • Joanna

          It’s so funny cause it’s a compliment- most people say “Oh, you look good.” or well-rested or whatever. But no, Gins goes right to smell.

      • Lisa Petrison

        Probably meaning that Don was not smelling of alcohol?

        • Joanna

          Someone else saying it? Probably. Ginsberg? No, he just expressed his thrill in seeing Don by saying he smelled good.

      • decormaven

        Well, he’s been working on the Chevalier Noir ad, so he has scent on the brain.

    • Paula Pertile

      *** Joan’s boots! ***

      Don, sitting with the creative team, looked too big for the table. Like he was the parent who’d come to visit the kids at school. It was all so unbearably uncomfortable.

      He’s been humbled, and is penitent – at the moment. But he’s still Don. He’ll get his swagger back. Right?

      • Chris

        It reminded me a lot of Ted’s first day when Don got him drunk and humiliated him at that same table. Peggy even had the same blue outfit on. Don’s chickens are coming back to roost.

    • Lattis

      I want to see Lou receding into the distance in my rearview mirror..

      • Mismarker

        To quote Madeline Kahn in Clue: “I hate him so much. Flames…on the side of my face…breathing…breath,…heaving breath…”

        • http://batman-news.com JLawGirl

          ^^^One of my favorite scenes and quotes of all time.

      • L’Anne

        Lou= this season’s Sylvia. the character they can’t get rid of fast enough.

        • oldscrumby

          I wouldn’t go that far if only because now that Don’s back you know they’re going to but heads which will lead to either scheming or open conflict. Sylvia was Don wallowing in his own neurosis, so she was boring to begin with and was guaranteed to linger on for way too long. As loathsome as Lou is, I think he’ll at least bring something more interesting out of Don.

          • L’Anne

            True, they might (and probably will) get some traction out of the dynamic between Don and Lou. But so fr he’s been such a snitty, uninspired pile of mediocrity.

            • Aunt Tabby

              I think Don’s approach to Lou will be to politely ignore his presence. There will be no dynamic between them as Don is to everyone clearly superior. In meetings all eyes and ears will be on Don. If Lou tries to assert himself or pull rank on Don in front of his team or the partners, he will just come off as weak or petty. Don just has to sit back on this one.

    • housefulofboys

      Remember back in an early season when Betty started seeing a shrink, and the shrink would always call Don to report on what she said? I seem to recall some discussion about “female hysteria” being the cause of her numb hands, too. The situation with Megan and her agent in California reminded me of this, with the men taking care of “the little woman” when she gets into trouble. It’s a reminder also that we’re not that removed from the early 60′s when this story started, and that people/society take a long time to change and learn.

      Which brings me to Don. And Peggy. And Betty. And all of them. I totally agree that one of the overriding themes of Mad Men has been that people don’t [seem to] change. But maybe what we’re learning in this season is that change does in fact occur, sometimes so slowly that it’s invisible to the naked eye, sometimes like a pendulum where it swings wildly to one side then the other only to eventually settle somewhere in the middle. We have been watching one of society’s most fascinating decades in terms of change, not only in how much things changed, but in the ways that change came about. And perhaps we are able to compare and contrast the ways in which society changes with the ways in which an individual changes, both in the normal learning-curve that we follow during our lives, and in response to the change going on around us. And we’re usually not particularly in control of the change, which is how I’ve always viewed the falling man in the opening credits where his position is changing at breakneck speed and he is powerless to stop. But, as someone mentioned earlier today, people can learn and change can come about through examining one’s life and figuring out how to bring about a different result. If you keep doing the same things you’re going to keep getting the same results. I think Don may have a glimmer of this realization, but Peggy and Betty are still clueless. Fascinating stuff.

    • Jmw

      who is Emily Arnett?

    • http://www.paolathomas.com/ PaolaT

      In this season every single major character is being crushed by the consequences of major decisions they’ve made in the past, without truly facing up to the consequences, learning to deal with them, or being able to move on.

      Megan gave up the career she was truly talented at and could have been hugely successful at, to pursue her pipe dream of acting. Now her career is going nowhere and her confidence is shattered.
      Betty is a selfish immature woman who adored her career as a model but then went the conventional and expected route of marriage and motherhood. She’s a bad mother, resents her children and gets nothing out of them, but they, and her husband’s career, are all she has.
      Peggy neglected her personal life for the sake of her job, and now her personal life is in ruins and her job is bringing her absolutely no satisfaction.

      Joan made a hasty decision to marry and then keep her kid and then had to build an elaborate financial safety net, including prostituting herself, to bring her and Kevin some measure of long term financial security.
      Bert and Roger, in different ways, neglected their agency and now realize that it is becoming a shadow of its former self.
      Pete and Ted in different ways ran to California to escape their failings in NYC, but are now being marginalized from the company.
      Ken gave up his dreams of being an author and tried to remake himself as a company man and is now rewarded with a ton of stress and a damaged eye.
      Even Harry has stuck it out too long at an agency that never has, and never will, value media buying.
      Ginsberg threw all his eggs into the Don basket and now is stuck at an agency where creative has no value.
      Every single one of these characters feels trapped and resentful, but none of them are facing up to the consequences, trying to make the best of their bad situations or trying to move on. Instead they’re all in their own circles of hell, lashing out the people nearest to them, and yet pathetically and desperately trying to maintain the status quo because they’re terrified of the consequences of trying to rebuild.
      The one exception is Don. He hit rock bottom at the end of last season and now he is slowly, quietly, trying to put his life back together in a more authentic way. He’s cut way down on the drinking (I think he’s glad that the partners have put restrictions on that); he’s stopped womanizing, despite myriad temptations; he’s trying to be honest with Megan and Sally and he’s realized that the one thing he loves to do and which feeds his soul is creative work at an agency. So he’s accepting whatever terms are on offer to get back to doing that and be true to his authentic self.

      I have no doubt this decision is going to have huge consequences for the agency and for the other characters’ lives but at the moment I don’t believe Don himself has Machiavellian intentions. He just wants to get back to doing the work he loves at the agency he still cares about.

      • Bob Ross

        I think that is an excellent summary, although Harry’s big problem is that no one likes him as he is kind of the definition of lecherous. We also do not know enough about Ginsberg.

        • Chris

          Harry’s problem is similar to Pete’s. He’s actually very good at his job but he’s not “cool”. The other partners don’t really like them and find them annoying so their value at work is not always recognized as it should be. They both do lousy things but the other people at work do too. They just aren’t as likeable so they have a harder time.

          • Fjasmine

            That’s a great point, they are both talented with poor people skills.

            • oldscrumby

              I think they both actually have pretty good people skills. They just don’t get any kind of regard from the old guard. Harry built their media arm out of nothing which means he’s been doing all the schmoozing with the networks on his own and won them over. Pete is actually a damn good account man. He went off to California and had to ask clients to pick him up for meetings because he couldn’t drive, yet he still picked up accounts. They’re both the worst combination of over-ambitious and undervalued, and it’s the former that the Don/Roger/Burt trifecta see.

            • Gatto Nero

              Pete was also instrumental in getting the agency to think about courting customers other than middle-class whites.

            • Fjasmine

              Again you are absolutely right! Pete was one of the first people who understood marketing, not just seling ads. The agency should have supported (contemporary) word Pete using his skills.

            • Lady Bug

              Besides wanting to reach out to minority markets, Pete was also the first one to want to reach out to the youth market and understood the appeal of JFK.

            • Lady Bug

              He was also instrumental (along with Bert & Joan) in trying to get SCDP to go public.

            • Fjasmine

              You are right, I remembered that almost as soon as I wrote the comments. Maybe it’s that they have good people skills away from the office but can’t play office politics well……Harry built the LA business from nothing and Pete lands major accounts—maybe those 2 should start an agency! It seemed like Roger and Don were aware of Pete’s value by asking (flattering) him to join the agency then proceeded to constantly put him down.

            • Lady Bug

              I thought about Pete & Harry starting their own agency. The combination of Pete’s business/account man skills, with Harry’s appreciation for technology and understating of the importance of T.V., along with a strong creative type (maybe Peggy & Stan?), would on paper-be a pretty amazing ad agency, that could easily give SC&P a run for their money. Of course, that’s all on paper. There would be the matter of Pete share in SC&P, Harry having to resettle in LA again (I know he was in LA before getting the groundwork established for the California office), then there is Harry’s family to consider.

        • Gatto Nero

          Harry is the one who pushed for TV when the agency was stuck in print media. He’s a lecher and kind of a fool, but he was right about leading the agency out of the dark ages.

          • decormaven

            Harry definitely has some good instincts about business.

            • Lady Bug

              That he does. Remember in the second season when he tried to convince the lipstick(?) company to air an ad on the episode of “The Defenders” that featured an abortion?

            • decormaven

              Yes! Belle Jolie was the company. Good memory.

            • L’Anne

              I thought the “Jesus speech” to Belle Jolie was more of an example of how Don can go off script. After all, when Belle Jolie nixed the idea of placing an ad in that episode, he didn’t really push the subject.

        • http://www.paolathomas.com/ PaolaT

          That’s true, but Harry could have moved long ago to another agency such as Grey’s that values what he does much more and where he would actually have a computer. I think he liked being ‘head of department’ and able to pretty much what he wanted at SCP but he’s now realizing that’s he’s never going to change the mindset there and he’s stuck with the consequences.

      • Glammie

        Nicely said Paola. I do think though that Don does want his agency back because he helped build it in the first place. It will be interesting to see how people deal with the dawn of the new(ish) Don.

    • Laylalola

      I know Don and Megan’s agent having a conversation behind her back isn’t well liked, but you have to admit, Megan crying and begging and interrupting a dinner where Rod Serling witnessed all of it is rather … a indeed a shocking and vivid anecdote from the Mad Men series.

      • siriuslover

        Yeah, I agree. I think we should be mad at the men’s interference, but also concerned about Megan’s erratic behavior.

        • Gatto Nero

          It seems to be signaling an imminent breakdown of some kind.

      • gogobooty

        It reminded me of Betty’s shrink and Don secretly talking her over at night.

    • Cheryl

      As well as not liking Lou, I don’t get him at all. I’m completely puzzled why he seems to want to strive for mediocrity. The comments that clients don’t like awards confused me too. I get that he is a petty, small-minded, uncreative person; so why wouldn’t he want to ride on the coattails of the people doing the real work, Peggy, Stan, Ginsburg, and get all the undeserved accolades. It’s not just that he is mediocre, it’s that he WANTS to be mediocre, that I can’t figure out.

      • Chris

        Well it made more sense to me later when Roger said Lou wouldn’t submit anything that he couldn’t put his name on as well. He is so petty he would rather not submit anything that Ted or Don was in charge of even if it meant few or no awards for SC&P. Ginsberg’s was the only one done after Thanksgiving when he came so it was the only one Lou could stick his name on too. That’s why it was submitted. He wants to obliterate Don off of everything. He made up that whole story about Cutler he told Peggy.

        • Cheryl

          Yep, that context makes sense.

      • Bob Ross

        Lou is the new Duck. Duck also hated Don’s talent. Some people rise to top positions with big egos, yet at the same time knowing (fearing) they are not as good as someone else (Don). I think he sees his strength as stability and keeping the partners happy and keeping costs low. He does not intentionally do mediocre work, its more like he does not recognize good work.

        • Cheryl

          I guess the difference being, as jealous as Duck was of Don, I think he did know what was good and what wasn’t and was a striver who wouldn’t hesitate to use another person’s good idea. Your analysis makes sense that he doesn’t even see it.

          • L’Anne

            Also, Duck was not a Creative. He was Accounts. I don’t get the impression that people expect Accounts to be creative. Lou is supposed to be creative because he’s in Creative. Ken would be an interesting example. We know he is creative from his writing and publishing, but his ideas for copy generate the “Thank you for that” comment from Don (see the telegram ad).

            That Lou thinks “Accutron. Its accurate.” is good Creative work is sad and laughable.

        • Gatto Nero

          Duck even ushered Lou into SC&P last season just as Don was leaving!

          • gogobooty

            I don’t think we can underestimate the earful Duck probably gave Lou about the whole SC crowd. I think Duck talking smack behind the scenes may be (part of) why Lou is such a shit to Peggy as well.

      • Gatto Nero

        He probably thrived in agencies whose clients were ultraconservative in their approach to advertising and didn’t want to take chances. Do we know anything about his background?

        • Cheryl

          I can’t remember anything being said about his previous positions. Was he a Cutler guy, or headhunted? Last season, it was so long ago.

          • verve

            I think all we know is that Duck brought him in, literally at the same time Don was given getting the boot.

            • Cheryl

              Birds of a feather….

            • L’Anne

              At that “chance” (was it?) elevator meeting, Duke introed Lou as from Danzer (Dancer?) Fitzgerald. Whatever that means. (I don’t know if that is a real or fictitious firm.)

            • Glammie

              Dancer, Fitzgerald–real agency, sort of standard middle-of-the-road.

          • mad girl

            We saw him in the airport lounge last season when Don and Roger were on their way to woo Chevy. I think he was the one making sarcastic comments about them losing the Vicks account. He worked for a big firm but I can’t remember the name.

            • Cheryl

              Good memory mad girl. I haven’t done my second go round watching MM yet. I watch the first time for the story, and second to catch all the beautiful little details and symbolism.

            • mad girl

              Yes I do that too. My husband and I even re-watched the entire series between seasons this year. It was amazing to revisit some of those earlier shows and find things I had missed entirely. And things that would later come to mean so much more. It was very cool.

            • decormaven

              Good call. It was Lou in the airport lounge in S6 “For Immediate Release.” He was with Dancer.

            • mad girl

              Yes!

        • Logo Girl

          I am thinking his background is those agencies that make ads that just show a pinwheel to show a headache and that taking the aspirin makes the pinwheel stop spinning. For all the CLIO award winning ads there are about 100 ads like that.

          • decormaven

            Yep, he’s a total hack.

      • Fjasmine

        Don left Ginsburg’s ad in the cab in order to pitch his own. I think people can feel too threatened to make good decisions.

      • Little_Olive

        It’s called envy… paradoxically, opposed to competitiveness.

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      Thanks for putting Joan’s behavior towards Don into perspective. Her coldness towards him baffled me the most. I loved how Ginsberg and most of the other creatives were drawn to him like flowers craving sunlight. It must be difficult to work for someone like Lou who doesn’t even understand the purpose of creating sketch boards to go along with ad proposals.

      I think Peggy was acting like a petulant teenager a bit. She has every right to be angry with Don, but I think she is just the smallest bit happy to see him return. Don can at least be an ally (albeit a difficult one).

      I understood their reasons for putting Don on a type of strict probation, but I totally wanted him to just tell them to go screw themselves when they placed him under Lou’s supervision. How is he supposed to do anything creative or innovative with someone like that hanging over him?

      • sweetlilvoice

        I too loved how Don was on the verge of leaving the office and Ginsberg drew him back with a creative question. You could tell that all of them missed him. And is Peggy more pissed off about the Clio (the aspirin ad that Don gave the credit to Frank Gleason to) or about Ted leaving her for CA?

        • Gatto Nero

          I’m guessing that Peggy is just generally pissed off that every aspect of her personal and professional life is collapsing.

          • Kit Jackson 1967

            I hope Don realizes how bad things are for Peggy right now. Maybe he can take her to a movie, and then out for dinner. What could happen is that after a really bad meeting, he convinces her to take the rest of the day off, and they do something together.

      • Chris

        They’re trying to set Don up to fail because (most of them) just want his shares.

        • Angela_the_Librarian

          I understand their motivations. I just hope it backfires (like Don isn’t able to pitch a brilliant idea because it wasn’t approved by Lou)

          • Kit Jackson 1967

            Don is going to pitch his ideas through Peggy or the other creatives. He’s going to beat them at thier own game.

            • FibonacciSequins

              I think he’s definitely going to use Peggy, but he has to soften her up first.

      • http://toongrrl.deviantart.com/ Toongrrl

        A big “Reason you suck speech” that would make them cry. I’m very bloodthirsty lately….lot of personal stuff

    • MisScarlett

      I doubt Don and Henry combined have enough money to fund the exorbitant amount of therapy sessions those sweet kids are going to need after being raised by Betty HorribleSelfishMother Francis.

      • Eric Stott

        I think Sally has found a way to deal with things- lets hope she doesn’t turn into another Betty.

        • Kit Jackson 1967

          Sally is growing up to be such an intersting mix of her parents. It will be interesting to see how she turns out. I’m most interested to see what sort of relationship she currently has with her siblings, and what kind of relationship she’ll have with them when they are older/adults.

          • Lady Bug

            I would love to see a Sally & Bobby scene before the end of the series.

    • bigeasybridget

      If Cooper really wanted to solve the Don issue without all that back and forth, he could just pull out the “Don Draper signed this contract, but this is Dick Whitman who stands before us” card. He obviously is holding that in case another catastrophe comes up.

      • Bob Ross

        I do not think that matters as much as you think. The fact that he lied about who he was ages ago would probably not be a breach of his contract. He still did the work and was very good at it. Cooper knew about it for like eight years now, and now the partners know a little about it. Also, this is the most liberal time in America’s history and the fact that he switched identities with someone else almost twenty years ago to get out of Korea would probably be met with a yawn from other agencies.

        • Lady Bug

          I do wonder how Roger would react when (if) he ever finds out the full and true story of Dick Whitman?

    • the_valkyrie

      Meredith exclaiming ‘Who cares!!’ cracked me up!

      • P M

        She’s so easy: it’s cute! it’s shiny!

      • sweetlilvoice

        She appreciates a good looking man and is she really Peggy’s secretary? Ha…..good one Dawn.

        • L’Anne

          Is Meredith as dim as she typically seems? I keep thinking about how she mastered Parliamentary procedure– even Roger called her a stickler– when Scarlett couldn’t.

    • Teresa

      Wondering what was up with that suit Don wore at the end, was it sort of a Red/brown color? It really stood out.

      • malarson2

        One of my kids even noticed and commented on the color. Something like, it’s not every day you see a nice dark brown suit (can’t tell if there was sarcasm there or not…it’s hard with the teenagers). I thought it really stood out, too.

      • BluesD

        It was the color of a chocolate bar. I think it’s a callback to his meltdown in front of the Hershey executive.

    • CanIbeFrank

      I was surprised that Lou has a 2 year contract. Exactly what did the partners think would happen when they had Don leave, but knowing they still had to pay him? In retrospect as we learn more about the terms of his release and Lou’s being hired, it doesn’t seem at all realistic. Was it Roger or Joan who said they can’t fire Don but would have to buy him out…did none of them realize that before? He had a contract so he couldn’t get a new job, they resent paying him, and leash themselves to the new guy for 2 years–it’s all untenable.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I thought the exact same thing….even I realized they would have to buy Don out.

      • Bob Ross

        It wasn’t that unrealistic. They hoped he would get a new job and they would let him out of his contract. Joan said it in the meeting, and I believe Don knew what they wanted him to do. His I have a contract thing to the other firm was just him puffing to look like he was looking for a new job on his own accord, and SC would have went along with that. I believe they said the stuff about the buyout at the meeting for the benefit of the audience who may not know that. I am sure they would have known in “real life”. Also, since they had every reason to expect Don to quit because of his ego, they had to give Lou a two year contract since I am sure no one would take the job otherwise. No one would want a three to six month job where your predecessor can come back at any time. Despite all the fans’ love, they were not going to promote a Peggy, an under 30 woman with less than 10 years experience, as creative director. It would be bold for a super young progressive agency, SC is none of those things.

      • Kit Jackson 1967

        That was something that confused me. If Don had a contract, how could he get another job?

    • sweetlilvoice

      I also enjoyed how shocked Don seemed that no one (except Lou) was in the office yet….like he didn’t stroll in hours late, leave early to mess around and go to the movies and blow off meetings constantly. Did he really think Roger would be on time? I did like how Carolyn (Roger’s secretary) hugged him. That was sweet….she was the only friendly face.

      • P M

        He expected that everyone would be just on the edge of their seats to see him again lol.

      • Fjasmine

        Caroline is great, she always managed to deal with Roger without being pushed around. When Joan came back with baby Kevin Caroline was happy to see her and excited to hold the baby. I always love her scenes, she’s the only person at that agency who is truely kind.

        • sweetlilvoice

          I think you may be right about that, she may be the only truly kind person in the office. She had some great lines last season.

          • Chris

            She and Stan are nice. I loved how Stan put his hand out to help Peggy up literally and figuratively after the Clio talk and how nice he was with Don. He even tried to cover for Lou’s rudeness to Don. Caroline is so warm I always think of her crying over Roger’s mother.

        • MarinaCat

          I remember a scene where Joan is in Roger’s office and she tells him she bought him a bear claw. Roger replied something like, “Caroline won’t let me eat it. Unless it’s on the end of a real bear.”

          • housefulofboys

            Roger has always had the best lines, perhaps because he has the best delivery!

    • Lisa Petrison

      If Don believes that he can stop drinking, then none of those terms is really a big deal at all. His going off-script in presentations always was risky and he is on probation. Not being around clients alone while on probation makes sense. Obviously they’re not going to fire Lou when they are not sure that Don is going to work out, and so of course he’s going to be reporting to Lou. All those conditions are all perfectly reasonable. The only one that seems mean-spirited is putting him in Lane’s office — but since people don’t know that he feels responsible for Lane’s death, even that may not be meant as cruelly as it seems to the viewer.

      If Lou weren’t such a jerk, I would be much more sympathetic to him with regard to the position that he’s being put in (having Don working for him) than I am to Don (working for Lou). If Don does not drink and behaves reasonably well, eventually he will be restored to creative director. And Lou has no power over Don — Don reports to him, but he cannot fire Don. And Lou is not a partner at all. And Don is much much better at office politics than Lou. And I don’t see anything that suggests that Lou will be into the emotional drama of trying to figure out how to beat Don.

      No one would say that he had failed at his position, if he leaves because the partners at the agency decided to bring Don back. That being the case, if I were he, I’d be starting looking for a new job the next day. Which I imagine is what Don is thinking too.

      • Eric Stott

        I’m wondering if he and Freddy Rumsen will be going to AA together.

        • Kit Jackson 1967

          Don isn’t going to AA. He’s cutting back on his own, but he’s not giving it up all together.

      • decormaven

        Lou’s a hired gun- I don’t think he saw himself staying in the slot past his 2-year contract. He’s already worked over 6 months, so if Don can live up to his agreement with the partners, Don can slide back into his old job and Lou can move to the next contract. Don will bring the gloss back to SCP and Lou can ride it out, and claim on the street that he held the agency together during a turbulent time. Maybe Lou doesn’t fool himself- he’s not a creative shaman. He’s just the finger in the dike till the patch is in place.

        • Glammie

          Yeah. Lou reads like a burn-out who’s kind of coasting until he can retire. He goes in, puts in the hours, makes some sort of decision and gets out. Any passion is longgg gone.

          • greenwich_matron

            Lou’s sweaters kill me. My dad, who was 30 in 1969, would have as soon worn pajamas to work as a sweater. Lou acts like work inconveniences him.

            • Glammie

              Hmmm, you’re right. Sweaters like that were weekend wear. My father, who was an ad guy would never have worn his cardigan to work. And he had one–a rather bright yellow with black threads in it. Wonder what being dressed like a bee meant? See, Jane Bryant has taken up residence in my mind.

            • Elizabetta1022

              True. It makes me read him as inconsequential, or so comfortable that he doesn’t care. I think it points to his mediocrity and lack of passion for what he’s doing. He already looks like he’s retired.

    • housefulofboys

      I really liked the way they crafted this episode, all about time, and going back and forth between the farm scenes with Betty and the office scenes with Don. I haven’t figured it out yet, and definitely need to watch again, but there has to be some significance to that. Perhaps that each of them was confronted with an unforeseen wrinkle in their plans, and the different ways that each responded. In some ways, Don was fortunate that he was left alone in the bullpen for untold hours because he had time to assess the new situation (Roger had clearly not paved the way for re-entry and there was no broad welcome in store), and to craft a response to a range of possible scenarios.

      • leighanne

        I enjoyed the back and forth as well between Betty and Don. There is a feeling that neither one belongs in or relates to their old circle anymore: Don feels out of place back in the office and Betty can’t relate to or love her children. She looks and feels so out of place out in the country with her accessories.

      • Mismarker

        I think there was a parallel story happening between Bobby and Don. Bobby was desperate for Betty’s approval, love, and, attention. Much how child Don craved and was denied the same from his own abusive father and step-mother. Both spent the better part of the episode atoning for their “sins”, too.

    • Anglow

      What shocked me last year was the partners’ reaction to Don’s epic meltdown. If he’d had a heart attack during a presentation, would they have turned on him like they did?

      • Gatto Nero

        A heart attack is involuntary.
        Don’s behavior in the Hershey meeting cost the firm the account. Whether it was a result of his drinking or of a spasm of honesty doesn’t matter to the partners, who see him as dangerous to client relations.

        • CanIbeFrank

          And while it was the worst “off the script” moment, it certainly wasn’t the first. He had made a habit of going renegade. No one trusted him any longer.

          • Gatto Nero

            Yes — it was just the last straw.
            The only reason they tolerated him for so long was because his risk-taking usually paid off.

        • sweetlilvoice

          He lost them multiple accounts that I can think of off the top of my head-Jaguar, Jansen and Hershey.

          • Gatto Nero

            He jettisoned Jaguar so they could sign Chevy, which was a better long-term choice for the agency.

            • 3hares

              He did no such thing. He jettisoned Jaguar because he didn’t like dealing with Herb. He had no idea Chevy was even a possibility.

            • Gatto Nero

              Then I stand corrected.

      • 3hares

        How are those things comparable? We’re using the term “breakdown” but Don actually just acted on impulse as he often does.

    • http://tvblogster.blogspot.com Boop

      I had just come off of watching the film “Philomena” on iTunes, so the whole Catholic belief of paying for your sins was on the brain. I understand that Don wished it were yesterday again (like his son Bobby said at the kitchen table), but there is an element of self flagellation in staying at SCP with that humiliating come down of an offer. He knows he’s done wrong, and he’s going to suck it up while aiming to show them how he can come back. I’m really pissed at him though. I wanted him to tell them to take the job and stick up their brown highway, rip up the offer, make it rain on their heads, fix his collar, then walk out the door. Screw ‘em.

    • Retrogirl

      I would like to personally thank T+L for making me pay such close attention to the details. Betty’s outfit on the field trip exactly mirrored Francine’s when they were eating lunch, Joan was wearing red flowers in bloom and a Peter Pan collar on her dress, Megan wore a pink bathrobe with a red sash when Don called her.
      Also, in the iconic Carousel speech, Don says something along the lines of “you go around and around until you come back to a place where you are loved.”
      Ken referenced the Kodak pitch. Love this show.

    • Gatto Nero

      I’m wondering about the scene that cut back and forth from Don looking at his watch (nice callback to the Accutron pitch) to Don strolling through the office.
      Thoughts?

      • Glory Ten

        Can’t interpret. But those cuts put a serious sense of dread in me. I kept thinking that perhaps we were seeing flashbacks, that Don had gone to the office, and things had not gone well, so he was sitting there, watching the movement of his watch, and remembering his horrible day. It wasn’t until the very end of the show that I realized that it was 9 a.m. he was staring at, and not 9 p.m. They gave him the conditions for his return, and I cringed, thinking he was going to read them and storm out (and a small part of me hoped that he would). But then he said, “OK,” and I gasped. I think that without those cuts back and forth, between his watch and his day at the office with everything hanging in the balance, I wouldn’t have had the same stress and anticipation and fear.

    • P M

      Off-topic but, for a busty girl, Joan has perfect posture. Working in the computer and screen age, being short, and of the same body type as Joan, I’ve always noticed her carriage. Well-trained, that Joan. (nodding in approval here)

      • Eric Stott

        Back then posture often was assisted by a well fitted girdle.

        • decormaven

          They weren’t called foundations for nothing.

          • Eric Stott

            Dresses like Joan wears wouldn’t fit properly without support. A lot of today’s celebs could do with a layer of lycra and rubber under the gowns.

        • Kit Jackson 1967

          And wasn’t posture something that was part of school? I know I’ve seen girls in old movies/television shows walking around with books on thier head.

    • Redlanta

      couldn’t believe Don’s “okay”at the end! He has been many things but
      never completely obtuse in his professional life (except Hershey
      meltdown). Don couldn’t tell they were just setting him up so they
      wouldn’t have to pay out the Partnership $$ clause? Lane’s office wasn’t
      a huge a$$ hint?! I can’t watch a slow motion total meltdown of Don.
      Just shove him out the window already, if that’s where this is going.
      Gotta love our Betty! She may grow older, but never up!

    • AvaLehra

      I have never hated a made up person in my entire life as much as I hated Peggy and Joan in this episode. They made Betty look benevolent and that’s saying something.

      • UsedtobeEP

        Nah, I hated Betty more. I can’t stand to watch someone dump on a kid.

        • Eric Stott

          I can understand Joan and Peggy – Don did a lot for both of them, but he’s also done some nasty things- but worse than that he’s done irrational things which could cost all of them their jobs.

        • Gatto Nero

          That was painful.
          At least Don can defend himself.

        • AvaLehra

          Yeah, but we already know Betty is terrible. Those two are on a mighty high horse without real reason for being on one.

    • Jeremy Thomas Porta

      Office dick-swinging. Well, Don has quite a lot to swing.

    • Apple Tree

      All I want is for Betty to get a descent storyline. The character hasn’t evolved since the glorious days of season 3. Please, anything but accidentally scripted pregnancies.

      • Gatto Nero

        Maybe she’ll grow up and figure out how not to make her kids hate her.

    • MannahattaMamma

      Dontcha think that ultimately Don has to kill himself?

      • Gatto Nero

        Why?

        • Eric Stott

          There are a lot of people who want to justify the opening sequence.

          • John G. Hill

            A lot of people lack imagination. Matthew Weiner would be hearing the groans from miles away if that scenario played out.

      • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

        no, i think that way too overt for mad men. i could see the final shot being his suit and other clothes left on the beach in hawaii, along with his i.d. and briefcase.

      • TeraBat

        Or be killed. It’s entirely possible that the opening sequence is not someone falling, but someone being thrown.

        • Gatto Nero

          Or that it’s just symbolic of another kind of fall.

          • MarinaCat

            Someone being thrown from a building. And then draping on the sofa with a ciggie.

            • Danielle

              Drap(er)ing!

      • Laylalola

        No. Don might well put his Don Draper persona to rest somehow, however.

    • verve

      We sure get lots of lingering shots of Lou lurking outside his office, staring down our POV characters with a chilly gaze.

      • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

        i relished those shots of lou sweating it out. of all the despicable characters on mad men, i hate him the most. probably because i’m a “creative type” myself.

        • janierainie

          100 likes! I hate that guy. People like him are why I’m self employed. I may not make a lot of money, but I would be a total lunatic if I had to put up with people like him.

        • Gatto Nero

          Which is what makes Lou such a great character, and the perfect foil for Draper.

          • Lady Bug

            Agreed! I’m looking forward to the Lou-Don scenes that will hopefully be coming up in the next episode

        • Glammie

          Yeah, he’s such a quintessential bad boss, isn’t he? Completely frustrating.

      • Laylalola

        Lou finally has a problem — Don’s return.

    • Groucho_Marks

      For some reason, I found the discussion about the computer interesting. I’m not absolutely certain, but didn’t Harry infer that SCP “outsourced” their computer processing needs to another firm? I had to remind myself that a computer in 1969 wasn’t an IBM PC, it was a huge contraption that took up most of a room and was run by people in lab coats. There is a video on YouTube called “Computers in 1969″ — fascinating stuff. One of the scenes shows a mass of computers analyzing blood samples, something that can be done today on a single chip. We’ve come a long way, baby?

      • 28fairplay

        Getting a computer in 1969 will also mean hiring on programmers and a systems analyst.

        • T C

          Or it meant spending a considerable sum for each minute of timeshare at a third-party business that owned computers and staffed data centers and keypunch operations. Well into 1980s many medium sized businesses relied on outsourced batch processing.

      • FibonacciSequins

        Yes, he said “We have a computer”, emphasis on the “a”. I took that to mean he outsourced their computer work, since there’s no evidence of a 1960′s mainframe at SCP.

      • Logo Girl

        It may be they were getting help from a university or the like. That was my first thought.

      • P M

        I think it’s more that they never even considered it. They have NO processing (through a computer anyway).

    • Glammie

      Interesting episode. I think Don will climb his mountain and it clearly makes for a plot arc so that we can root for him after a lot of viewers getting worn out by his self-destructive antics last season. I sort of thing Peggy and Joan are stand-ins for the audience’s frustrations with Don. Though their attitudes, while understandable, reflect their continuing rotten judgment about men. If there was ever a time to get Don’s gratitude and loyalty it’s when he’s down, but still holding a lot of cards.

      That said, I think it’s an interesting take on how people react to talent. Roger says Don’s a genius, the partner’s don’t really dispute that, but they don’t like it and discount its value to the agency–to the point of being willing to damage the agency by giving a two-year contract to a hack like Lou. Joan and Jim (an interesting alliance) are clearly behind the micromanaging aspects of the contract. Joan’s treating Don like a naughty secretary, while Jim is scared of him–the not meeting clients alone is an attempt to keep Don from walking off with any of them. (I’m sure Bert agreed to that.) But people who are scared of crazy creatives like Don don’t turn out a great product. It was interesting to see Cutler actually get upset and blame Ted’s meltdown on Don. Jim liked having a creative who was a good little boy. (No wonder Peggy liked CGC.)

      The people supporting Don are those who feel powerless under the current structure–the creatives, overworked Ken and, I think we can assume, Pete. Roger, of course. Interesting how crazy Ginzberg, who’s had some conflict with Don, cozied right up. The in-charge partners and Peggy don’t want to be beholden to Don and his talent. Roger and Bert (and Pete), in a way, are still displaying WASP male privilege in that think geniuses can and should work for them.

      And I know MadStyle’s still to come–but, geez, Peggy’s blue suit was painfully Pat Nixon or maybe Tricia. And Don traded his spots–well, his suit–*brown suit*. That was Dick Whitman coming to visit SC&P. Though Dick needs to learn to say “Please” when asking for coffee–or, hell, spare Dawn and get your own damn cup.

      • Eric Stott

        I thought Peggy’s blue suit was one of the most businesslike things she’s worn lately, and for a change not childish at all. Not exactly flattering, but that’s not the point.

        • Glammie

          Yeah, it beat the knee socks, but it doesn’t hold up next to her CGC work outfits with their slight military bent. I suppose I’m showing my age, but Peg’s outfit is classic Republican political wife of the era. I just remember seeing them on TV as a kid and wondering why they didn’t dress like the rest of us–in minis and bright colors. I can’t think it’s not a bit of a reference to Peg’s new bitter rigidity. And then there’s Joan’s outfit–also sort of an oops for her. Oh dear, I’m already in MadStyle mode.

          • P M

            We’re *all* in MadStyle mode – that’s the Uncles’ training kicking in :D

          • Chris

            Peggy’s outfit was from last year. She wore it the first day CGC and SCDP merged.

      • Kit Jackson 1967

        I liked Peggy’s blue suit.

      • P M

        Bang on about the suit – I saw it and thought ‘That’s not Don Draper in that suit’.

    • Lady Bug

      Someone at Vulture made a very astute point, this is the third episode that refer to cigarettes and fire. Not sure what all of this means (if it means anything) at this point. I don’t necessarily see a literal fire in the future, but the fire can be seen as something symbolic-as something that has the potential to both destroy and purify, to provide warmth, but also cause unimaginable destruction. After three references to fire and cigarettes in the first three episodes-I have to think it means something. It might be worth noting that the first episode of the series was titled “Smoke gets in your eyes”

      • DeniseSchipani

        The fire references make me think of the cleansing effect of fire (after all, even forest fires are natural, and a way to clear out old growth and make way for new). I think of Don as a Phoenix rising from the flames, which are probably not going to be literal. I thought of fire in this episode,too, in the first scene when he flicked ashes at the floor or the other seats in the empty theatre.

    • Janice Bartels

      Okay, I’m apologizing if someone else has mentioned this, but I skimmed all 630 comments and didn’t see any mention of fire, yet again, coming up in this episode. First was Don’s cigarette in ep. 1 potentially causing a forest fire, then Ms. Whiteside’s commission on the $100,000 house being lost due to fire in ep. 2, and now Betty’s cigarette isn’t allowed in the barn because it might cause a fire. Is it symbolic that the agency is burning down around them? Is Don about to rise like a phoenix out of the ashes of his life? Am I reading too much into this?

      • Eric Stott

        yes

      • Gatto Nero

        There are no accidents in Weiner’s world. So the fire references are not random.
        As Lady Bug says below in reference to Vulture, it’s a commonly used symbol for destruction or regeneration — but who knows what Weiner will do with this?

      • Lisa Petrison

        I do think that there will be a fire, but it probably won’t be in the way that we could anticipate. LIke how last season, there were lots of indications that someone was going to be stabbed, and it turned out that Peggy mistakenly stabbed Abe (who wasn’t permanently harmed).

        • rei

          Then again, the foreshadowing was very literal leading to Lane Pryce’s death, so… MW likes to keep us on our toes

      • Lady Bug

        I do think all of the references to smoking & fire are intentional, exactly what it’s suppose to symbolize, I’m not sure yet.

      • Alloy Jane

        I’m with @disqus_vrvR4rjIS5:disqus on this. There are no accidents in this show and fire is definitely a theme. It wasn’t just in the barn, but even though you don’t exactly see it, Don very carefully rubs out his cigarette before putting it in the trash. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if MW did go the phoenix route with Don, but then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t. I’m not sure if that has to do with my lack of expectations or with the writing though, hehe.

      • Chris

        No, I think it’s a really interesting theory and I will be watching to see if it plays out.

    • FibonacciSequins

      In case the movie Don was watching at the beginning hasn’t yet been identified, I read on another site that it’s Model Shop, directed by Jacques Demi and released in 1969. From the New York Times’ 2009 review (when it was released on DVD):

      “There are no swingers here, only an unhappy, listless young man (Gary Lockwood) waiting to be drafted and sent to Vietnam, and a slightly older French woman (Anouk Aimée) who catches his eye in a Los Angeles parking lot. Impulsively, he follows her — a figure in a white sheath dress, driving a long white convertible — as she drives through a portal of Greek columns on Sunset Boulevard on her way to a mysterious assignation in a mansion in the hills. George, the young man, later follows her to her place of employment, a storefront decorated with Playboy pinups that offers private photographic sessions with women, including Ms. Aimée’s character, wearing PG-rated negligees.

      She turns out to be Lola, the showgirl heroine of Demy’s 1961 debut feature of the same name, now several years older and even more damaged by the perfidy of men. (Lola is only her Dietrich-like stage name; hiding behind it is the more demure Cecile.) Lola’s waiting too — until she can raise the money for a plane ticket to return to France — and so these two transitory figures spend a night together, before he goes to war and she returns to the son she left at home….Demy suggests that George’s brief encounter with Lola has awakened him to the possibility that other humans may be unhappy too. His self-pity fades into an awareness of universal pain; he’s become a member of Demy’s legion of the disappointed.”

      • Gatto Nero

        Well done!

        • FibonacciSequins

          I think the lead male character being on his way to war is significant. There was also something in the NYTimes about that character not feeling at home in LA…and isn’t Megan French-Canadian? Maybe she’s not long for LA either.

      • 28fairplay

        And the music playing was from the movie – Rimsky Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” which is the story of a woman who tells a different story every night in order to save her life.

      • housefulofboys

        Thanks for tracking this down. There are a lot of connections to our story: a damaged woman in LA, Don’s connection with war, and his increasing self-awareness and understanding of other people, his waiting for a way back to the life he left behind and his children. Don was not only a vet from Korea, but I’m reminded of his connection with the Vietnam vet who was getting married in Hawaii a couple of seasons ago, and whose lighter he ended up with. I love that there is nothing in this show that is thrown away, it all has a meaning and a connection to other threads.

      • Alloy Jane

        Thanks for that, I was wondering what movie would use Scheherazade so extensively. Considering the story, that’s a much better use of music to further a story (both in the actual movie and Mad Men) than Melancholia’s use of the love theme from Tristan und Isolde. Drove me nuts, that did.

    • http://trufcreative.com/ monomatica

      Great recap as always. Loved the episode. Always so surprising the direction they take things in. Don’s way back in is through the creative. That’s what he does have which everyone is long for, even if they don’t realize it yet. I believe the creatives will gain his respect again maybe when they see him actually working and not messing up (no drinking in the office!) Maybe push Lou out? I guess we’ll see. Also, I loved when Meredith sassily said, “Who Cares?” when they asked why Don was there. Hilarious.

      • P M

        How Meredith has managed to stay put while more talented people haven’t is mind-boggling.

    • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

      it’s clear that meagan was playing out her disappointment in her career when lashing out against don. the one big mistake he made was asking her to quit her soap opera job and move to l.a. even though her career would have most likely tanked in new york as well, she’ll always have that one act to use to blame it all on don.

    • Zoey

      What was the deal with the woman in white that invited Don to her hotel room? Did Roger send her over? Did Roger taint the offer from the other firm? Was she only there to show how much Don had changed?

      • Lady Bug

        That confused me as well, at this point, I’m assuming she was just there to show how much Don has changed-that he was telling Megan the truth when he told her he’d be good while she was in California.

      • SuzyQuzey

        I think she was just a random hotel hooker.

        • greenwich_matron

          That’s some marketing technique she has.

        • TeraBat

          I assumed she was one of Don’s conquests from one of his benders.

      • Logo Girl

        I found the machinations confusing, but I think Roger planted her to get Don up to his room to discuss whatever that bad deal was.

        • Laylalola

          I totally thought Don himself paid her to come up to the table while he was meeting with the executives.

        • Zoey

          It had to be right? The whole line about Merry Christmas, Love Judas? There was too much anger going on for him not to be involved.

        • CanIbeFrank

          So do you think Don knew that and expected Roger? Or was he expecting that girl?

    • Kit Jackson 1967

      My understanding is that Don’s title is probably going to be something along the lines of, Associate Creative Director. So the chain of command is going to be something like Peggy-Don-Lou. Peggy will once again be trying to please two people, and that won’t work well. Pete may not have understood the creatives, but he did admire thier work. He once tried to pitch a tagline/slogan to Peggy.

      Did anyone believe Betty when she said, something like, “I thought children were the reward?”

      • sweetlilvoice

        That’s a lie that women have told themselves for a long time.

        • siriuslover

          I don’t think children being a reward is a lie. But it’s only a reward when you let them be themselves and not some echo of the modeling children you encountered. Betty has never accepted her children as individuals, and therefore there’s no “reward” for her since they don’t live up to what she imagines.

      • FibonacciSequins

        Yes, I think Betty really believes that. She doesn’t understand why her children don’t like her; she has no self-awareness.

    • Vtg Fashion Library

      I haven’t seen anyone comment about Don’s phone call with Dawn. Her request to put him on hold was pretty much symbolic of everything in his life lately.

      • decormaven

        I think that was the signal to Don that if he wanted things taken care of, he would have to do it himself. That’s generally the case in life- just gotta get in there and handle it.

      • FibonacciSequins

        I think it was showing that the agency was moving on without him, making him aware he’d lost ground and had to take action.

    • lalagigi

      Was anyone else squirming while Don encountered various members of the office while sitting in the lobby? I’ve had dreams like this – where I walk into a former employer and see old and new faces – but distinctly feel that I don’t belong there and that no one wants me there.

      • janierainie

        Hey! Maybe he was dreaming! It was weird how they started out that whole series of scenes, looking at his watch and staring into space. Probably not, but it would be funny if they played out your dream. By the way, my grandson calls me Lala.

        • siriuslover

          Please don’t let this series end with Dick Whitman waking up in some Pennsylvania town late for his job at the factory but having had the weirdest dream ever. We’ve already been there, done that with Bob Newhart.

          • janierainie

            Don’t forget Dallas! There would be torches and pitchforks if Weiner did that to us.

          • Lady Bug

            Agreed! I’d much rather have an ambiguous ending (i.e. Sopranos) than an ending where the entire show and characters was just a figment of Dick Whitman’s imagination.

            • John G. Hill

              After much deliberation with myself, I don’t think the Soprano’s ending was ambiguous at all. *Spoiler Alert* The guy that left the counter and went to the bathroom, came back and put a bullet in Tony’s brain. Life instantly over, nothing else is visible, and nothing to be heard, not even “Small Town Girl,” from Journey. And BTW, I read Matthew Weiner really like the way “The Sopranos” ended.

      • P M

        I thought the whole thing was way too dream-like.

        And I also thought that the music and the way the whole thing was staged as he walked towards Lou, it had an air of finality to it.

    • P M

      Jebus, that *was* a long day for Don. He went to the office at around 9-ish, Roger came in at about 12:40, and Don went into the conference room at sometime past 7 PM. 10 hours is a long bloody time to hear one’s fate.

      • jilly_d

        I loved that they had that giant clock behind Don’s shoulder the whole time so we could all keep checking the time and muttering “Jesus!”

    • Garry Todd

      Oh I cannot wait, but for me, the Jimi Hendrix song at the end told me more about what Don was thinking than anything else in the episode. If that was indeed Weiner’s intent, then the mystery is solved. Check out the lyrics to “If 6 Was 9″–the whole thing was Jimi flipping double birds to everyone who counted him out, or made fun of him, or expected him to collapse when things turned upside down(“If the hippies/cut off all their hair/it ain’t me/I don’t care!” or “If a 6/turned out to be a 9/I don’t care/I don’t mind”)…these lyrics, plus the entire middle section where Jimi specifically mentions a “white collar conservative” and says “you can’t dress like me”, etc., or says the most-famous line, “I’m gonna wave my freak flag high!”, I’m guessing Don was just waiting for the smallest dog/cat-door opening back into SCP, and he WILL emerge victorious. I’m expecting Lou to be the first to be bodybagged, followed by Cutler, unless he keeps finger-wagging in Roger and/or Harry’s face, in which case he WILL be first.

      • FibonacciSequins

        Good catch!

        “Alright, ‘cos I got my own world to look through,

        And I ain’t gonna copy you.”

      • kduffin7

        You’re absolutely right. Great choice of end song and a huge clue to Don’s true feelings. As if Don Draper would agree to those outrageous conditions without an ace up his sleeve. RIP, Lou. And his hideous cardigans.

        • ACKtually

          The Mr. Rogers cardigans are awful, aren’t they?

      • Gatto Nero

        Yes — the Hendrix song at the end knocked me out, and partly for the reasons you mention. (I hate how the credits cut it off.)

      • housefulofboys

        Thank you for that!

      • John G. Hill

        I was in the process of re-checking the lyrics, and then checking this page out to make sure nobody else was on to this, but you’re EXACTLY RIGHT. In fact, I had a huge rush when I first heard it, because it was the perfect bit for the moment. All of a sudden, Don has the Cat with the Canary look on his face. A Boy Scout couldn’t look more sincere.

      • decormaven

        Yes, that song was a tell. Once again, Weiner & Co. pick the perfect song.

    • smh4748

      Did Francine and Betty order cake for dessert? I think this is a reach, but I wonder if this is a small allusion to the proverb “you can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Per the proverb, you can’t have everything you want, you have to make choices and sacrifices. But here is Francine, ordering cake and eating it, as she tells Betty that she did the motherhood thing, but now is also doing a job that she finds really interesting and fun. She really is kind of having it all. Meanwhile, Betty is sharing the cake, grabbing a bite or two of someone else’s cake, much like she has to grab a bite or two of Henry’s career/aspirations in order to make herself feel important.

      Look at this site, making me reach for the smallest meanings. I’m probably not even remembering it right, and they ordered apple crumble or something. :)

      • CanIbeFrank

        It was coffee cake, but you might be on to something!

        I thought Betty seemed a bit jealous of Francine’s job but then dismissed it by saying she was “old-fashioned” which we all know is not at all how Betty sees herself.

        • Karen

          It seems as if marrying Henry has accelerated Betty’s “old-fashionedness,” as she plays the part of political wife who sees her own value though her husband’s accomplishments.

          I feel that Betty is on the verge of something. A Tupperware party? Avon? Mary Kay?

          • Kit Jackson 1967

            Betty is on the verge of becoming one of those women who opposes the ERA and feminism.

          • Vtg Fashion Library

            Maybe Betty needs to go drop some acid with Roger. Now THAT would be something to see.

    • lillyvonschtupp

      I’m not a Peggy fan right now, neither a Joan fan. I always thought Don treated Joan unlike any woman because she’s the only one who sees through his bullshit. I gotta say it, but Don really liked and respected Joan enough to tell her to forget sleeping with the Jaguar guy, because it wasn’t worth it. Then again, Joan fumed when he fired Jaguar, so it evolved a deep resentment.

      As for Peggy, three episodes in and she’s working my nerves with her childish outbursts and her sarcastic greeting to Don. Look, Honey. He didn’t make your married boyfriend ditch you and move to LA. That was Ted’s choice. She gets to get laid, and pronto! She could practice on Ginzo if he wasn’t so repulsed by her.

    • MarinaCat

      I don’t know if she’s been mentioned but I think Jessica Pare did a great job. Honestly. I wouldn’t have thought she had the chops to pull off those 2 scenes but I think they were great.

      • Lady Bug

        That was probably my favorite Don-Megan scene, I agreed, very well acted.

    • snarkykitten

      It’s interesting to see the contrast between Ted & Don when their lives fall apart. You could argue that Don pretty much hit bottom when Megan threw him out, but instead of going back to his roach infested apartment, he FINALLY bucked up and made a decision about his life. Ted is still hapless in California.

      Also, best line of the night: “Your self-pity is distasteful”

      I bet this has already been said, but I’m late to the party so whatever!

    • snarkykitten

      Also, question: Who is in Lane’s office right now?

      • Lady Bug

        Peggy? I think…

        • malarson2

          Definitely Betty. TLo shockingly pointed out (I think in the season opener of Mad Style) that she had a dress from the dry-cleaners hanging on the back of that office door, calling to mind Lane hanging from it…to serve as a reminder of him, and of him being in that office.

          • Lady Bug

            Wait, Betty is in Lane’s old office?

          • P M

            I wish someone would put up a map of that office, with a little schema pointing out the history of each room: who the occupants were, major plot points that occurred, and in what episode they occurred.

      • http://wetpaint.com/author/amber-garrett Amber Garrett

        I thought it had remained empty since, but I could be wrong.

      • Kit Jackson 1967

        Peggy is currently in Lane’s office. The other partners just gave it to Don. We have no idea where Peggy is going to work now. We also do not know if Peggy’s title will change, or what Don’s title will be.

        • snarkykitten

          that was what I thought. I hope they don’t shove Peggy into Dawn’s office!

          • Kit Jackson 1967

            They wouldn’t make Peggy share an office with the Personell Manager (or whatever the title is. I can’t remember it). My guess is if Peggy doesn’t take over Ted’s office, she would share an office with Stan.

            • snarkykitten

              I was more thinking they’d kick Dawn out. idk it was a dumb thought

            • Chris

              Maybe she will get her previous office which was Pete’s old one with the big pole.

            • P M

              Now, if she shares with Stan or Don, there’ll be a lot of symbolism for us to go on and on about :D. Stan + Peggy (will they or won’t they?); Peggy + Don (a barrier to overcome?)

        • P M

          Ooh, Peggy’s not going to be happy about that at ALL. Wait, will they share an office then?

          • Kit Jackson 1967

            I hadn’t thought of Don and and Peggy sharing an office. I thought Peggy would share an office with Stan, even if she doesn’t get a new office, but I do like your idea. I’m not sure if it will happen, because Cooper’s line was something like, “He’ll be in Lane’s old office,” not “He’ll share Lane’s old office.” Peggy and Don sharing an office does have potential for amazing drama.

      • lillyvonschtupp

        I thought it was Joan.

      • Gatto Nero

        Peggy.
        There was a callback to the hanging when one shot showed a dress fresh from the dry cleaners hanging on the back of the door.

        • Miss Disco

          But who is in the office next to Don/Lou if Peggy is in Lane’s office? I’m trying to remember, were the offices ordered Don – Peggy/Creative – Lane – Pete? Or am I confusing one somewhere? We’ve seen Peggy and Pete peer over into the next office, so that would suggest that there’s 4 offices.

    • Karen

      I nearly thought that the blonde that approached Don was Anna Draper’s niece. She also resembled Joy from the first Pete and Don trip to CA, though Joy’s hair was light brown. Or, of course, she looked like Bethany Van Nuys. Or Pete’s new squeeze.

      I feel that it is a commentary on how dime-a-dozen Hollywood blondes are at the time. Also, this girl’s attention (be it contrived or not) shows that Don “has still got it.” (Look at Meredith squeal like a teeny bopper when she sees Don.)

      The worst part is how dated these blondes serve to make Betty look by contrast. Betty has only approached their hotness when she was in Italy and in full flair of confidence in speaking the language, great up ‘do, and beads.

    • Karen

      Does anyone have any theories as to how the series will end?

      I feel as if it may be too easy for it to be a Woodstocky/Moon Landingy thing, however they are constantly mentioning the moon, and I do recall someone asking Don if he was an astronaut. Maybe Don is Major Tom.

      • Susan Velazquez

        Weiner once mentioned he wanted to end with a flash forward to an elderly Don but who knows if that’s still in the works.

        • siriuslover

          That worked out for Michael Corleone… (sorry, I HATE that ending, but maybe this one will be better written).

        • Lady Bug

          I remember that…although if Weiner mentioned it in an interview, we can now be rest assured that the show will *not* end with a flash forward of an elderly Don Draper ;)

      • Kit Jackson 1967

        My theory is New Year’s Eve, 1969 into 1970. The last song to play as the credits role will be “My Way” by Sinatra.

        • Lady Bug

          I like the “My Way” ending. I don’t think any of the core characters (Don, Pete, Peggy, Roger, Joan, Betty, Megan) are going to die, but I can see them using BS&T “And When I Die” (released in 1969) in one of the closing sequences.

          • Kit Jackson 1967

            I don’t think they’d kill off core characters, but I could see them killing off Sterling or Cooper.

        • Susan Collier

          “What a Wonderful World” was the #1 song in 1969, which was definitely a musical anomaly during such tumultuous/groudbreaking times, and a throwback (much like Don).

      • Laylalola

        The One Small Step For Man will be the series transition to the Heaven(s) final leg of the journey through the Divine Comedy, probably the first episode of the last seven but maybe the finale of the 2014 set.

        Personally I doubt the series finale in 2015 will be tied to an event, but if it is, I’d guess it would be the breakup of the Beatles if anything.

    • decormaven

      Another keeper of a line: Bobby “My mom loves animals.” Maybe, but she’s not too hot on kiddies.

      • Gatto Nero

        Pigeons especially.

    • mad girl

      Everything that is wrong with Betty shines through in this one line of dialogue:
      “Eat your candy.”

      • decormaven

        What I love is that there was a banana on the picnic quilt, along with the bag of gumdrops. Betty could have sucked it up, said “Hey, no worries, I’ll eat the banana, you eat the candy.” Also, did you notice that in the scene with Francine, Francine had cantaloupe and cottage cheese, with most of it eaten? Betty had a chef salad, which was hardly touched. Betty definitely has food issues.

        • Lady Bug

          Good observation!

        • mad girl

          Wow I hadn’t even noticed the banana. Yes on the meals though, I figured she was trying to make Francine feel bad for eating so much. I bet she didn’t share that coffee cake with her either. What a piece of work she is.

    • MarinaCat

      Another observation from left field: Christina Hendricks’ face looked absolutely stunning in the scene where Joan and Ken encounter Don after their breakfast meeting. I don’t recall Joan ever looking so pretty.

      • P M

        I do hope Mad Style will include a discussion about how her style (from the collar up at least) looks very 1910s-1930s. All she’s missing is a newsboy hat. And look at her hair – to me, it looks like something from around WW1 (I mean that in a good way).

        Good on Joanie for making the mod look work for her!

        Oh: And can we all observe that Joanie’s flowers are in bloom? (okay, that sounded wrong).

        • Gatto Nero

          Yes, though on a black background this time. Hmm.

        • lillyvonschtupp

          I want to see what TLo interprets the rose dress that Joanie was wearing.

        • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

          It was a wonderfully declarative and assertive dress — and boots that she won’t take off for anyone.

          • P M

            How right about the boots – imagine not taking them off for Bert! Once that wall is broken down, anything can happen :D

    • Alloy Jane

      What I find most annoying is that Megan has a real reason to be pissed off at Don and they play it off as her taking out her spleen on him because of her lack of success. I do love how she stated that every day with a clear head he made a conscious decision not to be with her. The story of Don Draper’s life is that it’s all about him and what serves him and the people around him are just props.

    • KayeBlue

      And not a word about my BELOVED FRANCINE? Before this season is out, she’ll be divorcing Carlton and buying Hilton Hotels!

      • P M

        Look through the comments; she’s there.

    • KateWo

      Could Don’s master plan be to work for them in CA? Or start a new agency out there with Pete? He’s very perceptive and he knows Ted is miserable and maybe Don really wants to be out there with Megan. He’d need a job bc he also discovered her career is going nowhere.

      Also agree with everyone about what a weird thing it is that the partners weren’t on the same page about Don’s status. Joan thought they fired him but the fact they’d need to buy him out never crossed her mind?

      • P M

        Given that Joan was the glue that stuck together the details of SCDP, and the one who impressed the underwriters with her skill and knowledge of the business, I find the inconsistencies about her business knowledge a bit dismaying. How could someone who put together a financial plan (apparently) not know what her share as a partner would be worth? How could she discuss how people were being paid (with the business prof) but not know about the consequences of ending Don’s partnership.
        The holes are pretty glaring.

    • Elizabeth Moore

      I’m a little perturbed by the attitude toward Joan and Peggy I have encountered in other articles . . . especially regarding their responses to Don’s return. There was an episode in Season Six (I forgot the exact one), in which Don really pissed off Joan, when he got rid of the Jaguar account. I understood why she was upset. Don had rendered her actions in “The Other Woman” a waste of her time, due to his attempt to be her savior. But I noticed that some fans – especially male fans and critics – thought she should be grateful. They didn’t understand or didn’t want to understand her anger. And now, they are expressing hostility or confusion over her reluctance to be thrilled over Don’s return.

      I also suspect that many believe that Peggy to be eternally grateful to Don for helping her out of the secretarial pool and making her a copywriter. They also want Peggy to forget the crap that Don put her through, during Seasons Three to Five. They want to forget that Peggy had a good reason to finally put Don behind her. And they want Peggy to forget Don’s actions in Season Six. Instead, they demand that Peggy forget all of the crap that Don had put her through and welcome him back with open arms. Why? Do they want Don to resume his role as her Alpha Male? Is that it? Even his return to the firm is now being regarded by some as Don eventually resuming his role as the Alpha Male.

      I really feel sorry for Betty. I feel sorry for her because as a character, she is in a conumdrum. She has been taught and has been expected to be a perfect mother and wife. This is her biggest demon. Fans of the show criticize her for trying to be perfect. Yet, at the same, they demand that she be perfect . . . especially as a mother. The only time Don has seriously been criticized as a parent, was when Sally caught him with Sylvia Rosen and he made an attempt to brush aside what she saw with a lie. Betty is not allowed one mistake in regard to her kids. Not one. I have been on the receiving end of a cold reaction like Bobby. And I have reacted to others, like Betty did. I’m human and I’m capable of mistakes. But It’s like many cannot make up their minds on what Betty should be. They criticize both her lack of maternal perfection (which doesn’t exist in real life, by the way) . . . and at the same time, criticize her attempts at perfection. I feel sorry for her, because due to rules of society – both in the series and in real life – she’ll never win.

      Poor Betty will never accepted as the complex person that she is, because of this demand that she be the perfect mother. Many seem incapable of understanding Joan’s wariness at Don’s return. And many want Peggy to disregard her past anger at Don and his past behavior, so that she will be eternally grateful to him, again. Meanwhile, many cannot wait for Don to be his old self again – the creative Alpha Male that he was, yars ago. We truly live in a paternalistic society.

      • Shawn EH

        This episode wad told very much from Don’s pespective, so empathizing with his pain and confusion is somewhat to be expected. Betty’s female friend called her old-fashioned at their lunch; she could choose to do more than stay home.

      • rei

        Totally agree.
        Also, people are forgetting just how infuriating Don has been the last three seasons especially last season.
        In real life you can’t just say “I’m sorry, I’ll do better” and expect people to trust that you have the ability to keep your word.
        For Joan and Peggy, all they have is their careers and they cannot trust Don.
        Joan especially I think can’t trust him… any more than she can trust any one in the office. They have all betrayed her one way or another (Cutler and Ken being exceptions… I think Ken was being far more supportive of her as an accounts person in not being easy on her).
        Likewise, Peggy can’t trust him and she’s mad at Ted because Ted in the end pulled a Don move.

    • Blueathena623

      Oh Betty. You had me until the sandwich. You can care about your children even if you don’t like being a mom. Betty DOES NOT like mom-ming, and maybe in a different time period she could have done something outside of being a mom and a wife. I actually cheered for her that she was sucking it up and trying to do some mom stuff even though she obviously wanted a billion stiff drinks and for Bobby to be quiet. But the freaking sandwich. Express your irritation and move on. To carry it on to dinner is absurd.
      For me, one of the only weak plots of the show is why the hell Henry likes Betty.

      • Elizabeth Moore

        Henry likes Betty because she is more than just the “cold and imperfect mother” that many are willing to label her, when she makes a mistake with her kids. Betty is a human being. Like other human beings, she is going to make mistakes for the rest of her life. Actually, I can the same about Bobby, who is not the most perfect of sons.

        • Blueathena623

          The fact that Bobby is basically peeing his pants to spend time with his mom and that he is so crushed by her rejection alludes to a lifetime of “mistakes”. I never said she hated her kids, I think she loves them in her own way, but she hates being a mom and is shite at it. And what did Bobby do that is so bad?

          • siriuslover

            he picked the wallpaper off his wall.

            • Gatto Nero

              … and broke the mattress, and messed up the phonograph, and lied about it. Poor kid.

            • Blueathena623

              I can’t tell if you are being sarcastic or not, but the destruction and lying are pretty typical kid behaviors at that age. And given his parents’ responses, I understand why he lied.

            • Elizabeth Moore

              No average parent will tolerate such consistent behavior from their children . . . even if Bobby’s behavior is “typical”. That is the way parents are.

            • Blueathena623

              Huh? They don’t tolerate it, he is disciplined, but that doesn’t make him a bad kid. How did your parent react when you messed up as a little kid?
              But it is nice to know that I must be an above average parent since I actually try to figure out the reason for the bad behaviour and work from there. And not blow a gasket when stuff happens because, ya know, stuff happens.

            • marishka1

              Could you be my mom?

            • Blueathena623

              Sure ;) I’m not June Cleaver, and I would be cranky that he gave away my sandwich, but its more my style to say that I like how he worried about his classmate having enough to eat, but he should have worried about me being hungry too, so put on a cute face and go ask that potato dairy farmer for a baked potato or some cheese or something, and then we can split the gumdrops.

            • Elizabeth Moore

              Why do you expect all parents to be like you?

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              Discuss the show; not the other people talking about the show.

            • Blueathena623

              Listen, I’m not going to get into a fight about parenthood and what it does and does not count as a “good” mom. I actually don’t think I’m an above average parent in my desire to find out what is the root cause of bad behaviour in kids — I think most, or at least the average parent wants to do that. And I also realize that I am watching MM with a 2014 mentality — MW throws in plenty of reminders in case we get too complacent (what was it, the first or second episode with pregnant Francine smoking and Sally playing in the plastic bag?)
              But we were originally talking about Betty. As a woman, Betty is more than just a mom, but that is how she defines herself. It sucks that she mentally defines herself as a mom, because she is a cruddy mom by today’s standards, and if MW is trying to paint her as a good mom in her time period, he’s not doing a good job because she looks miserable so much of the time she is mom-ming. And as I’ve stated numerous times, I don’t think she hates her kids. I think she loves her kids. I think she dislikes being a mom.
              And as for no parent tolerating such consistent behaviour, have you noticed how much Betty tattles? She snaps during the incident at hand, but then tattles, either to Don or Henry. She’s overwhelmed.
              I think instead of being upset at viewers who point out her negatives, talk with MW and ask why he doesn’t show more positive moments between Betty and her kids.

            • Columbinia

              Kids do this stuff. Parenting is about helping kids learn not to do it, in a constructive way.

            • Blueathena623

              I agree. I’m thinking we agree, but my radar s apparently wonky tonight.

            • Gatto Nero

              It may not have been clear, but my sympathies lie entirely with Bobby.
              Though I think his mother is pathetic (in the true sense of the word) in her immaturity and insecurity.

            • AnotherJulie

              You are generous in calling Betty pitiable. I think she is a self-absorbed, narcissistic monster who is inflicting untold damage on a poor little boy who was delighted to spend the day with his mother. And that’s just her behavior today!

            • Gatto Nero

              Yes, Betty’s parenting behavior and instincts are awful, and she should be less self-absorbed and more self-aware. But judging by her sessions with the shrink in season one, she’s carrying a lot of baggage from her own childhood, including scars from trying to please a hypercritical mother. These injuries tend to be repeated, generation after generation. Her psychiatrist, who was patronizing toward her and talked to Don behind her back, wasn’t particularly helpful. Betty is essentially unfulfilled, and she shouldn’t expect her kids to provide that fulfillment for her. It’s such a heavy burden for a child. That’s probably what Betty’s mother did to her.

            • Blueathena623

              Heavens to Betsy, a boy picking wallpaper off the wall. I’m surprised he’s not in juvie. In all seriousness, that’s not that bad. He later confessed to Don (I believe that same episode, or maybe the episode after) that he’s worried about Henry being killed. So he’s stressing and tore the wallpaper.

            • siriuslover

              That was snark.

            • Blueathena623

              Lovely :) after I responded I saw your likes and had a “doh” moment. Snark for the win!

            • siriuslover

              LOL. it’s late.

        • SylviaFowler

          I hope this is a joke post.

      • Gatto Nero

        She’s beautiful, socially adept, and discreet — the perfect politician’s wife.

      • Alloy Jane

        I agree with @disqus_nSeyw5plRX:disqus. Henry sees that there is more to Betty than “ice princess.” You get that “more” in the flashback episodes where Don divorces Anna to marry Betty. When he found her, there was a light in her that drew him, and Henry sees that light. He’s an optimist and he sees the best parts of her, plus he loves her and I’m sure that blinds him to her childish behavior. He knows it’s there, his mother even threw it in his face for being with such a “silly woman” and of course, there’s the Betty we never see because Betty doing her duty is not interesting.

        I feel bad for her, but I still think she’s a terrible mother. As someone who is not remotely domestic but frequently in that role anyway, I think it’s more important to suck it up and do your duty to the children than to punish them for being an unwanted duty. It’s not their fault. Children are innocent and precious and it is your job as an authority figure to provide them with the best example of how to be. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to be compassionate, and Betty is much to immature for compassion. Like Don, she thinks everything is about her all the time. And Betty is too conformist to go out pioneering. She was born at a time where you had to be to break out of the expected role of mother/wife. She’s clearly jealous of Francine, hence the need to knock down her modern acceptance of life outside of the kitchen. Her expressed attitude towards Francine’s career recalls her attitude towards Helen Bishop’s being divorced.

        • P M

          To be fair, Francine’s acceptance of her career-ing may be in part due to financial circumstances. And Francine was *not* about to admit difficulty of any sort to Betty Draper Francis, of all people.

          • Alloy Jane

            But she did. Francine told Betty that Carlton wanted her to let the help go, and she told her that he likes the money, all implying that Francine working was based on necessity. But need-based or not, Francine is doing what Betty cannot, and that is breaking out of a conventional role. If Betty HAD to go to work, I think she’d fall apart. She doesn’t handle responsibility very well.

    • Stefanie

      Was anyone else feeling Duck when Cutler was carrying on in the partners’ meeting about Don? “I think it’s more important we discuss Harry Crane.” “This agency is too dependent on creative personalities.” “If we want people speaking about this agency, what they should be speaking about is our media department. We need to invest in a computer, period. We need to tell our clients we’re thinking about the future, not creative hijinks.”

      “Good creative is important, but it can’t be running the show.” “Our business is about buying time and space, and right now that means television.” “There’s no reason for us to be tied to Creative’s fantasies of persuasion.”

      The more I think about it, the more I think I feel an intentional parallel between Cutler and Duck. Cutler had been so even tempered, just as Duck had been until that meeting. They both lash out at the partners in the room about the fact that Don is seen as a creative genius.

      • lillyvonschtupp

        I think Cutler has been up to his old tricks. He was smooth in discussing Harry, declaring they needed a new computer instead. He has definite plans for the firm and they don’t include Sterling Cooper.

    • Columbinia

      Mad Men is coming to the point where I’m asking “is this credible” and “why are we seeing this”?

      First, the Is this credible? point: Don is a partner in this ad agency with a capital investment in it. Whaddaya mean his shares get “absorbed” if his behavior violates the stipulations and triggers termination? That can’t happen without triggering a ton of litigation. How do you void a written and signed partnership agreement with a half-page of stipulations? This requires some actual legal drafting and lawyering. What happened in that conference room was not credible. They have no real leverage to make Don sign away his financial rights under the partnership agreement and nothing they’ve offered him is a real inducement to give them up. In real life they’d have to drop this “absorbed” shares stipulation or the partner would have invoked his financial rights under the partnership agreement and made them pay up, then taken the offer from the other firm. It’s also incredible that this is the first time the partners have addressed Don’s status (on leave or a firing in disguise) and the financial consequences for the agency. If they had not discussed what they were going to do about Don before this (bring him back or negotiate a payout), then they don’t have an ounce of business sense.

      Why are we seeing this? applies to Bobby and Betty’s Not-So-Excellent Adventure at the farm. We need to send Super Nanny back in a time machine to tell Betty to be an adult. One little sandwich incident should not “ruin” her day. Why don’t her children love her? Bobby wants her attention and affection so much it is palpable. The real question is does Betty love or even like her kids? Actually, the fundamental question is, why are we seeing this painful mother-son drama? What’s the point? Is this about Betty becoming a 1960s woman who wants to give up the housewife gig? Is one of the Mad Men writers recounting his relationship with his mother? Why is this part of the show? Much the same applies to Megan. Her career is going the way of so many Hollywood hopefuls and she’s becoming an unstable stalker of directors. Don comes out to give her some support and it’s not good enough. He finally tells her the humiliating truth about losing his job and she doesn’t have an iota of support to offer. She makes accusations and dumps him in a major temper tantrum. About the only reason I can imagine that we’re seeing this is because Megan is going to commit suicide. This might finally explain the character to me.

      All of these plot contrivances leave me feeling like I’m watching the writers operate pulleys, ropes, wires and levers to set things up for the drama they want to play out. They’re putting Don on a chessboard with the pieces arrayed against him. Are Joan and Peggy really so short-sighted? Does Peggy not see that Lou Avery is going to push her out of the agency with a ruined career? Ted’s not going to save her. With her gone, he can come back to New York. Does Joan not see that the agency will collapse under Lou’s mediocrity and Jim’s viciousness? The bitterness of these two against Don is not entirely credible, unless the writers are trying to say that these are women who prefer to play out personal grievances at the cost of their careers. But again, it mostly looks like the writers are setting things up in a certain way. From the incredible re-employment agreement, to the world of people arrayed against him, Don has a dramatic obstacle course to navigate. Good. This is Don’s story, not Megan’s or Bobby’s, after all. He keeps saying that he messed up and wants to make things right. Agreeing to the stipulations was his first step in trying to put things right. This is the set up. It’s been a contrived and long time coming since his self-destruction began last season. Don had nothing to do at the end of season 5 with a decent marriage and a controlling partnership in a rising ad agency. So season 6 was spent destroying it in order that there could be something for him to do in season 7. And here we are.

      • oat327

        Completely agree with the legality of his partnership being absorbed, but my bigger problem with how brazen they were to give him that list of stipulations in the first place. We know as viewers how desperate Don was but, from the partners’ perspective, they were in the far weaker position: they couldn’t afford to buy him out, didn’t want to compete with him, and knew (via Roger) that he had another job offer. Why on earth would they risk antagonizing him with such a one-sided contract, when Don could’ve (and would’ve been likely to) just demanded his buy-out then and there, and head off to the other agency?

        And also totally agree with your take on Joan. Peggy did call him a monster last season–he’s done some terrible things to her, and she’s at the end of her rope, so it doesn’t completely strain credibility that she’d be snippy to him. But Joan leading the charge to get him fired? After 16 years of a relatively unblemished personal and professional relationship, one based on deep mutual respect? That I didn’t buy. It was out of character for her to not at least have been more conflicted about it, especially considering that even the bad things he did to her–firing Jaguar and merging the agencies–wound up benefiting Joan in the long run.

        But it all makes for some good TV, I guess.

        • Gatto Nero

          It seems as though Jim might have bought Joan’s loyalty with her move to the upstairs office.

      • Laylalola

        The way Don sees all the women in his life is changing — maybe we’ve been seeing an idealized version of Joan where Don’s seen her as both a sex bomb and a financial wiz, when maybe the truth is closer to her being a personnel chief but not particularly having some mysteriously innate high-finance savvy (which did kind of seem odd after we got beyond her scrappy street-smart personal approach to money). Peggy’s been Don’s protege and as hard has he’s been on her at times we’ve always seen a very flattering and sympathetic depiction of her (come on, for example: from who else’s perspective did we watch her have that child and have zero reaction to it? From Don’s, because from any other character’s perspective it would have been bone-chilling and not just dropped and forgotten.)

        We’ve seen hints of how deep Megan’s depressive episodes might go in the past when she couldn’t get a job, but judging from an interaction that happened off screen where Rod Serling is present maybe Don’s been seeing even those episodes through rose-colored glasses. Of course how he sees Sally is changing and right now may be the only transformation that, from his eyes, is for the better. Pete’s entire presence in Don’s life is, from whatever perspective we’re seeing things right now, looks like one of the closest things to warm, genuine, supportive friendship rather than the threatening animosity from before.

        I totally accept that all this might be reaching. It’s the only explanation I have, though, because otherwise the behavior of Joan and Peggy in particular makes almost no sense from a consistency perspective unless neither is really quite the natural (financial or creative) genius Don has always taken them to be.

      • decormaven

        Maybe Don has enough legal savvy to know that the agreement probably wouldn’t hold in a court of law. He’s going to get back in, get some leverage, and flip the whole thing, one way or the other. Flipping will include ousting Jim, Ted, and whoever else isn’t going to get on board with him. “We’re going to push ourselves, shoulder to shoulder, and we’re going to overcome this, and we’re going to succeed ten fold, and it will be exhilarating.”

      • ybbed

        I thought that too, about Megan. I hope they are not setting it up for her suicide or unfortunate death somehow, but it kind of crossed my mind that that might be in the cards for her. That or she gets pregnant and comes back to New York and gets back with Don.
        I disagree that she displayed a major temper tantrum, she is disappointed that Don is lying to her and its because of his own self image rather than thinking the Megan, his wife, the person who loves him more than anybody wouldn’t understand his predicament. Its backwards. She has every reason to be sad and disappointed in him.

    • malarson2

      I’m in a list-making mode, odd for me as this is not my usual thing, and I’ve been thinking about Field Trip all day and writing down little snippets as they’ve come to me. Just like Megan and Betty in this episode, I haven’t been very good at working OR at parenting today. I also have to try very hard sometimes to like Don as certain specific aspects of his persona remind me way too much of my ex-husband. Maybe that’s why I’m in a bit of a daze. Anyway, here it is. I think things got a little deeper as the day wore on (and it’s late, I know, but I’m on the very left side of the left coast):

      1. Francine!!

      2. Betty, Honey, if you have to ask such a question, chances are the answer is an automatic yes (you are a bad Mother).

      3. Ken’s sweet, authentic reaction to seeing Don proves once again that he is the genuine heart – and possibly the only happy one – in that office (which is what made his sincere mini-meltdown a couple of eps ago so jarring and upsetting…).

      4. Peggy standing over Don in that VERY matronly outfit, wagging her finger at him made me think of her as his Mother, scolding him for being a bad boy…mirroring Betty’s deplorable treatment of sweet, sad Bobby. Was it also meant to contrast Megan seeming so young and emotional when she got Don’s bad news – and honesty – in California, prompting her to stomp off and call him Daddy?

      5. Joan’s scary, mad-face is so intimidating that all I could think about when I saw it was whether that look ever gets directed at her husband in real-life and, if so, that poor guy.

      6. When Don was in the office sitting at that tiny little table, speaking of a Field Trip, with that huge clock over his shoulder – time literally hanging over him – waiting for someone to decide something, my heart was literally pounding out of my chest. When I mentioned that fact to my youngest son he looked at me like I was losing it and said, ‘Why? Nothing is even happening.’ Oh, youth.

      7. Release from that moment was immediate and palpable when Don said that agreeable – and shocking – ‘OK’ at the very end of the episode and then that funked-up, awesome Hendrix music blared and I clapped like the former cheerleader I am and said/yelled to nobody in particular, ‘Oh YEAH here we go here we GO!’

      8. Because, to me, that episode was the very beginning of showing everyone else stuck in their old roles and behaviors as opposed to Don who is truly trying out something new. Isn’t he really the only one there who has spent the entire series up to now doing exactly what he wants, how and when he wants? There’s a freedom in that – freedom for intense creativity and productivity. And didn’t it seem it was set up on last night’s show to have everyone other major character resent him for that? That Don has shown horrible behavior and choices by living how he wanted with no worry of consequences in the past, but is now learning and growing (possibly from them finally giving him a consequence) from that past is a major foil to the others in last night’s episode weighed-down by their own sense of themselves (with the exception possibly being Roger…and he’s also one who has taken to doing whatever he wants, whenever he wants). TLo’s assessment that the overall theme of the show is that nobody changes is spot-on. That is, for everyone else but Don.

      9. And that’s why he’s the hero.

      • siriuslover

        That’s a nice synopsis. One thing I’ve been thinking about: throughout the series, when Don has received a raise or a promotion, he’s always insisted on “no contracts.” Yet in last night’s episode, not only did he sign a contract, but he signed a contract that placed significant (potential) limitations on him doing the thing he loves to do. It will be interesting to me to see if that no contract / contract idea is significant symbolically.

        • malarson2

          Oooh, yes! And thank you. His times are a-changin’, no doubt about it. And yet everyone else is stuck. And I really do think the difference between those facts is what Mr. Weiner is trying to make us all ‘get’.

      • http://www.franticbutfabulous.com/ Heidi/FranticButFab

        Francine in a pantsuit!

        • camdiggidy

          RIGHT??? Our Lady of the Perpetual Housecoat! Remember how much shit she talked on Helen Bishop? Now she’s bringing home bacon herself and loving it.

          • malarson2

            Totally forgot about that! I just love her so much because I kind of love the idea of her and Betty in the kitchen, smoking and drinking and gossiping. But I also love the idea of her being happy in a job, too. Plus I just love the actress. Her voice is amazing and she just has a commanding way about her. Especially now in that pantsuit!

      • Elizabeth Moore

        And that’s why he’s the hero.

        Don Draper will never be a hero in my eyes. Just a flawed man. And this is only the third out of fourteen episodes for this season. The night is young.

        • malarson2

          I never said he can’t be a hero AND flawed. That’s what makes him the main character of Mad Men. In my opinion, his flaws, reaction to those flaws, and eventual growth is the overarching achievement of the show (imagine watching Mad Men, but not focusing on Don…even other characters often are there to react/foil/love/hate him). The hero doesn’t always mean the best person. However, if Don can show self-awareness and change, then he is seeing his own flaws and rising to their challenge. I consider that quite heroic. Also, yes, I’m looking forward for more shows to come, but I’m commenting on last night’s show and what I think that will mean for those other shows. It’s part of the fun of being here.

      • DeniseSchipani

        I agree completely, especially with #8 — all those other characters have clear, on the surface reasons to be pissed off at Don, but underlying it all is this: they’re pissed off because he kept acting badly and it kept not really mattering. And now he gets to come BACK?!

      • verve

        re: 2, I don’t know… I’m sure there’s plenty of awful mothers who don’t even think to question what they’re doing (because they assume that of course they’re great, dammit!). At least Betty is somewhat trying to evaluate her parenting.

        • malarson2

          It’s a good point. I think maybe I should think of it less black and white and more of on a scale of gray. She’s not a great Mom. But to your point, she does at least question herself about it. The problem is that she also can’t stop herself from NOT acting so horrible to her doe-eyed son, especially on such a big day for him. And, to me, that puts her shade of gray in a nice dark, rich tone.

    • Anne

      I love Bobby Draper so much. “We were having a conversation!”

      • Lady Bug

        Me too! He’s such a sweet kid.

        • lillyvonschtupp

          I like the fact that they kept the same Bobby and actually let him grow. He’s been five or six for the last six years.

        • Gatto Nero

          He breaks my heart.
          I wonder what Gene is in for.

          • Not applicable

            I think Gene is getting all the love she felt for her father…. I think poor Bobby gets pegged as ‘Little Don’ and gets all the wrath and frustration she feels for his father. Is it really Bobby that’s SO inconsiderate? or was it years of Don being so inconsiderate…? Freud would be the one having a field day here.

            • Lady Bug

              THIS. How long before Betty tells Bobby “you’re just like your father”-but without the greater emotional connection/clarity at the end that characterized Sally & Don’s Valentine’s Day argument/rapprochement? Out of all of the Draper kids, it’s Bobby who I would be most concerned about as an adult. I don’t think he’s going to become a serial killer, or abusive, or anything like that-but I can’t imagine being raised in that house and not having at least some issues. Everyone talks about Sally and her inevitable continuous trips to the therapist office and that’s certainly valid, but Sally I think, is also head-strong, independent, and she does have a real connection with at least one of her parents (Don). Gene, I think will always in someways be Betty’s ‘baby.’ Her last chance to ‘prove’ that she’s a good mom and a connection to her late father. Where does that leave Bobby? I hope Bobby & Don continuing the connect over their love of movies… Or, maybe it will be Bobby who finally is able to convince his mother that she doesn’t need to be ‘perfect’ and neither do her kids.

            • Kit Jackson 1967

              I agree. Sally is going to be okay. I would love to see a scene with Bobby and Henry, so we can get a better sense of what that relationship is like. Now that he’s older, I’d also like to see another scene between Bobby and Don.

            • Lady Bug

              Me too, that reminds me, there are SO many scenes I’d love to see before the show ends, let’s see: Bobby & Don, Bobby & Sally, Sally & Betty, Pete & Peggy, Pete & Don, Roger, Joan & Kevin, Pete & Trudy (and Tammy), Trudy & Bonnie, and…Bob Benson and anyone(but, Pete in particular!). ;)

            • Kit Jackson 1967

              I want to see Peggy and Sally interact.

            • Lady Bug

              Good one! The last time I think they interacted was “The Beautiful Girls” Although I haven’t seen that episode for a while. The MM universe is so vibrant, I would continue to watch these characters for another decade if given the opportunity.

            • http://toongrrl.deviantart.com/ Toongrrl

              Me too! They seemed to speak to each other on the basis of equals…if you consider a bossy older sister and her petulant lil sis that way

            • Elizabeth Moore

              “Is it really Bobby that’s SO inconsiderate?”

              Sometimes.

            • Not applicable

              I meant in that scenario- thought it was pretty sweet that he saved her space on the blanket.

    • bingo

      I just watched this epi again, and have to say that Cutler’s line to Harry Crane (you have stiff competition, but I believe you to be the most dishonest man I have ever worked with) is one of the all-time memorable Mad Men quotes for me.

      • http://batman-news.com JLawGirl

        And this is interesting to me because Harry has truly fought for financial and overall support for media for a while, but, until LA, got very little understanding and acceptance. So while he may have fudged the truth, I think Jim should recognize where Harry’s alliances are. Unless I completely misread this whole scene…

    • http://www.spellboundbymovies.com Beth Ann

      Don and Megan ended up in the same position, being that person desperate to be accepted and validated by the people in their business. She crashed the director’s private time, and he crashed the agency, even if Roger did ask him back.

      • 3hares

        I think there’s a big difference between the two, though. Megan’s crashing the director’s private time was pointless and was only going to reflect badly on her. Don putting himself forward wasn’t as misguided.

        • http://www.spellboundbymovies.com Beth Ann

          No, he was not as misguided, but both were desperate for acceptance and validation.

    • katiessh

      These episodes are really making peggy seem petty. I mean really, with the flowers and the cleo and everything? It’s like she’s turning into Betty. And yes, she has reason to be angry with don, but ‘we haven’t missed you’? It’s pretty clear from this season that for all of don’s faults he was clearly a better creative director than lou is, so for her to be so resentful of don’s return is pretty juvenile

    • soniabe

      what about that part when he looked at his watch and it was 9:00? i was sure the whole day had been his imagination or something

      • Shawn EH

        9:00 am; he just wanted to be on time, unlike Roger.

    • judybrowni

      Is that Joan wearing an angry roses dress?

      • Glammie

        Yep–the loudest angry rose dress yet, I think. That and those boots made for walking.

        • P M

          I do wish we could have seen the full outfit head-to-toe. She looked smashing!

          • http://howtofaint.tumblr.com/ How to Faint

            Seriously. I am looking forward to Mad style more than I usually do.

        • Lady Bug

          Does Joan typically wear boots to work? I didn’t think so… Can’t wait to read T&L analysis of Joan’s outfit tomorrow

          • Glammie

            I don’t recall ever seeing her in them. It was a big year for boots. I sort of remember it as a time when my mother bought multiple glam pairs and wore them to the office.

      • Logo Girl

        With a Peter Pan collar!

    • TheBrett

      I pity Betty in spite of the fact that she’s a bad mother and a petty, insecure person. She self-diagnosed her problem back in season one – when she told the shrink more or less that she wasn’t satisfied with just being a wife and mother (“you get married and then . . what? Wait to rot in the grave?”), but she’s failed to launch several times when given an opportunity to carve out some independence. She finds some temporary happiness occasionally (like in last season when she slept with Don), but her condition didn’t change and it eventually drags her back down.

      • Elizabeth Moore

        Betty is a mediocre parent. I think people expect her not to make a single mistake with her kids. And I find that unrealistic.

    • musicandmochi

      My inner fangirl is cooing over how Stan constantly give Ginsberg The Look when he says something inappropriate to Peggy. He did it last episode as well! :)

      • elevan

        I know, right? He’s still got it for her.

    • Laylalola

      Watch Betty turn out to be the woman on the show most on-the-nose in regard to any feminist statement and possessing the most innate business savvy and creative genius. She already basically embodies the issues raised in the Feminine Mystique.

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        This episode makes us wonder if Betty’s not being set up to look for some kind of fulfillment outside the home and her role as a mother. We have a hard time seeing her with a job, but we could see her throwing herself more fully into politics and making a career out of being a political wife.

        • Blueathena623

          Didn’t she meet Henry because she was guilted into caring about some water source? But she was good at the community organizing.

          • greenwich_matron

            She loves animals and water! Maybe she can head up the EPA.

            • SylviaFowler

              Loves animals? Didn’t she hate their dog? And the neighbor’s birds?

            • greenwich_matron

              But that’s what Bobby said…

          • L’Anne

            They met first at Sterling’s Derby Day party.

        • P M

          I wonder if instead she’ll just give her blessing (albeit in a backhanded way) to Sally to go her own way and embrace the choices that may be available to her, while simultaneously not really changing anything about her own life.

        • Kit Jackson 1967

          If Betty’s in politics, it’s going to be anti-ERA. I’m sure of it. She’s so traditional, it just fits. Betty already is a political wife.

    • Chrisanthe Kostalas Green

      “send Lou packing with his brilliance and office dick-swinging” Love this comment!

    • G. M. Palmer

      Does anyone know the 1969 American legality of reabsorbing Don’s shares if he doesn’t hold up to his end of the bargain (one can hardly call that a contract)?

      • frazer

        Yeah, I wondered about that. Does “reabsorbing”mean they don’t have to pay him for his shares?

    • Black Doug

      I really want to see a “Bobby And Sally Go To Therapy” sequel after Mad Men is over. Those poor kids.

      • http://batman-news.com JLawGirl

        Kind of like a “where are they now?” episode.

      • Elizabeth Moore

        Sally and Bobby do not need therapy. You don’t really expect Don and Betty to be 24/7 perfect, do you? My parents aren’t.

        • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

          People are allowed to have opinions about character that are not the same as your opinions about characters. It’s fine to discuss, but you’re bordering on berating people with this point.

          And stick to talking about the show, not asking other commenters about themselves. Ninety percent of your comments this season have been about what other people are saying about the show rather than what you think of the show.

    • jackie

      Just finishing watching and all through I just felt bad for Don…. omg I think I’ve been pulled into the Don Draper charm machine!

      • AnotherJulie

        I think he deserves every bad thing that happens to him but at the same time, we’re still rooting for him.
        It’s that perfect combination of jerk and vulnerability – i.e. great acting.

      • ItAin’tMe

        Seriously? It took that long?

    • Bella Bluth

      From T&L’s S4E1 write up on Don, “He wants to do good creative work, not be a superstar”. As ususal, brilliant insight to Don.
      It was shocking (and satisfying) to see Don apologizing, his honesty, humility and most of all his humanity (was that a tear i saw rolling down his face out of his left eye?). Although, i can’t wait to see Don get his swagger back and make a dazzling pitch! I also can’t wait until Wednesday – thank you T&L!.

    • Michael J. Galt

      On the Randian front, I’m seeing Don as Ellis Wyatt in his first meeting with Dagny Taggart:

      ” . . . it is now in your power to destroy me; I may have to go, but if I go, I’ll make sure that I take all the rest of you along with me.”

    • lostonpolk

      Wait a minute, wait a minute!! Hold on, everybody!

      Did Harry Crane just get fired??

      • Logo Girl

        I watched it again. Yes. Though it was easy to miss.

        • FibonacciSequins

          Wow, I didn’t even catch that the first time through. Just re-watched and Roger dumped him as a negotiating ploy to retain Don.

      • mad girl

        I don’t think he’s fired. Roger misunderstood and agreed to fire him because he thought that’s what Jim wanted. Roger couldn’t care less, he just wanted to speed things up and get back to discussing Don. Jim wants to help Harry get his computer, he’s not going anywhere.

        • Babyboomer59

          Harry now has Jim s attention
          When Jim notices someone they seem to get elevated. It happened for Bob and for Joan.

          • mad girl

            You’re right! He’s certainly pulling the strings, isn’t he?

    • Luke

      I want a spin-off about the 70′s adventures of Rizzo and Ginsberg. They could move in to Peggy’s brown stone and she could be their nosy land lady.

      • Kit Jackson 1967

        As long as it continues the Peggy-Stan, will they or won’t they, and the series finale is Peggy and Stan getting together, count me in.

      • Lady Bug

        With cameo appearances by Julio and his mother! ;)

    • ItAin’tMe

      I think he plans to kick ass. I was worried till I heard Hendrix kick in with 6 was 9. Then I knew it was going to be ok.

    • Elana Bryan

      So if Don’s getting Lane’s old office, where is Peggy going to be? I thought she had Lane’s office now. That should go over REALLY well….

    • Uncivil_Servant

      Love the insight fellas. Idea on Jim and the color change and significance. If Jim (and his other previous partner Ted) wanted the/an agency for themselves they would have to buy out the carry-over SCDP partners UNLESS the agency shed accounts, or continues o do so, leading to a scenario of either cutting staff or dissolving the agency (getting rid of SC&P without the buyout). Hiring a schmuck as creative director makes getting and holding clients harder. Also, things like making Pete hand his accounts to more Jim-loyal members like Bob makes other partners unhappy. Unhappy partners more likely to dissolve agreement. Then, as struggle for accounts appears get accounts people on YOUR side. Joan = accounts holder. Roger = none. Cooper = None. Don = none. Pete = as few as they can possible let him have.

      • Kit Jackson 1967

        Don isn’t accounts. Don would work on a campaign for one of Pete’s clients or one of Roger’s. Creative can be a draw for clients, but isn’t that different than what someone in accounts does?

    • Cheryl

      I had some sympathy for Joan the other week, when Ken (tried) threw her earring in her face. Throwing things at people is disrespectful, rude, and childish. This week with her treatment of Don, any wee bit of sympathy I had for Joan evaporated.

      • elevan

        To be fair, I don’t think he meant it that way. Joan was poised, ready to catch it. His aim was just way off.

      • Babyboomer59

        Joan is going to be protective of Joan before anything. She has been promoted since Don left and not wanting to go back to the old ways. I do hope she will redeem herself soon tho!

    • LadyKateC

      So I’m 98% sure that was Bridget Fonda playing Bobby’s teacher, but the internet has surprisingly little to say about it. Can anyone confirm this?

    • Babyboomer59

      When I saw Meagan walking into her home and being surprised by Don the thing that puzzled me the most was seeing her carry two large bags of groceries. It made me wonder if she did not have plans for cooking supper for a guest
      She doesnt strike me as someone who would be doing a lot of cooking just for herself.

    • Babyboomer59

      Not sure if anyone is still reading here but want to put down my theory of the woman approaching Don at dinner. I think he arranged that himself. She came along as soon as an offer was given to him. Once he had that in hand he wanted to go upstairs to show Roger. Her saying the room number also would explain him going up the elevator. Don wanted that meeting only as a pawn to get back to SC&P once he had the offer he wanted to run with it.